The top teams in the men’s and women’s Southland Conference basketball races will have to defend their elite spots on the road Saturday afternoon, as the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks travel to Huntsville to square off with arch-rival Sam Houston State.
The Ladyjacks (16-3, 9-1 SLC) will start things off with a 3 p.m. tip-off against the second-place Bearkats (13-6, 8-2 SLC) inside Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. The contest will be televised on ESPN3, with the audio-only broadcast available on KTBQ Radio (107.7-FM).
The Lumberjacks (18-3, 9-1 SLC) will follow that with a matchup with the second-place Sam Houston men’s team that is 15-6 on the season and 8-2 against league competition. The 5:30 p.m. game will also be televised on ESPN3, with the KTBQ Radio handing the audio version.
With 10 games left in the battle for the top seed heading into the Southland Conference Postseason Tournament in Katy, the ’Jacks control their own destiny and could widen their lead in the league standings with a huge road win in Huntsville. SFA leads the ’Kats by one game and Nicholls (14-8, 8-3 SLC) by 1.5 games, but have a two-game lead over NSU in the loss column heading into the weekend.
SFA is 8-2 on the road this season, and have yet to drop a league matchup away from home in six tries this season. The ’Jacks are currently on a five-game-winning streak overall and have taken wins in 11 of their last 12 games.
The Bearkats has struggled away from home, but have been strong in front of their own fans, posting a 10-1 record this season. Sam Houston is 5-1 at home in Southland play, losing only to Nicholls, 70-58, on Jan. 4.
SFA leads the all-time series with Sam Houston, 50-46, but the ’Kats are 31-15 in Huntsville. The Lumberjacks won their game in 2018 on the Bearkats’ floor, claiming a 65-53 win during the season that SFA advanced to the NCAA Tounament.
SFA is coming off a 71-61 win over Abilene Christian, while Sam Houston defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 80-61.
The ’Jacks will host Nicholls on Wednesday.
Like the Lumberjacks, the SFA Ladyjacks are in control of their destiny for the regular season championship heading into the weekend. Sam Houston and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (14-6, 8-2 SLC) are both deadlocked for second place behind the Ladyjacks after the Bearkats dropped a 57-54 decision to the Islanders on Wednesday.
Abilene Christian (15-3), which the Ladyjacks defeated 69-59 Wednesday in Nacogdoches, is 1.5 games back of SFA with a 7-2 league record.
The Ladyjacks are 5-2 away from home this season, including 3-1 in conference play. SFA is currently riding a six-game winning streak.
The Bearkats have been tough to beat at home this season, posting a 7-1 mark. Their only loss was an 81-73 setback to ACU last week.
SFA is 23-7 all-time against Sam Houston, including a 10-4 mark in Huntsville. The Ladyjacks have won nine of their last 10 games against the Bearkats and their last four at SHSU. SFA swept last season’s games, taking a 78-68 win in Huntsville and capturing an 83-75 victory at home.
Next up, SFA travels to Nicholls on Wednesday.