The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks, a team that lives by its long-range jumpers, could connect on only 1-of-11 (9.1%) from behind the three-point arc Saturday afternoon, as SFA came up short against Sam Houston State, 63-55, in Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville.
The loss halted their six-game winning streak, as the Ladyjacks fell back into a three-way tie for the Southland Conference lead. SFA (16-4, 9-2 SLC), the Bearkats (14-6, 9-2 SLC) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (15-6, 9-2 SLC) are all tied for first place with nine games remaining in the regular season. A&M-Corpus Christi defeated Houston Baptist, 75-65, on Saturday.
Despite their poor shooting from the field, the Ladyjacks kept the game close thanks to freshman guard Zya Nugent, who came off the SFA bench to hit 8-of-12 from the field and finish as the game’s high scorer with 20 points. Sophomore Aiyana Johnson posted a double-double, with 13 points and 13 boards, to go along with four assists and a pair of blocked shots. Kennedy Harris dropped in eight points and senior Riley Harvey pitched in seven points and added three steals.
Faith Cook was the only Sam Houston player in double-figure scoring, with 18.
SFA, which took a 13-8 lead after the opening period, but fell by 32-26 at the half by giving up 24 second-quarter points, struggled with turnovers, finishing with 24. However, Sam Houston State also committed 24 turnovers.
The Bearkats widened their lead in the third quarter to a 45-28 advantage with 3:40 on the clock, but SFA was able to trim the deficit to 57-51 with 46 seconds left on a drive by Nugent. But that was as close as the Ladyjacks would come.
SFA did push the ball inside throughout the game, outscoring SHSU 40-16 in points in the paint.