Two of the hottest Southland Conference teams will take their offensive shows on the road Saturday night in key league matchups when the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks and Lumberjacks battle Lamar University during the ‘dog days’ of the SLC chase.
The Ladyjacks (14-3, 7-1 SLC), who are one-half game out of first place with 12 Southland contests left before the league tournament in Katy, will start off the twinbill, battling the Cardinals (8-10, 4-5 SLC) at 2 p.m. in the Montagne Center. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN3, with the audio-only broadcast available on KTBQ Radio (107.7-FM). Live stats will be on SFAJacks.com.
The Lumberjacks (16-3, 7-1 SLC), who are one-half game ahead of a pair of teams in the league, will then hit the court against Lamar (10-10, 4-5 SLC) at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, with KTBQ also handing the audio broadcast and live stats on SFAJacks.com.
LUMBERJACKS vs. LAMAR
The streaking Lumberjacks lead the Southland by one-half game over Sam Houston State (14-6, 7-2 SLC) and Nicholls (13-7, 7-2 SLC) with 12 league contests remaining. What makes Saturday’s game critical is the ’Jacks will face the Bearkats and Colonels in two of the next four games.
While SFA sits atop the conference standings, Lamar sits in a tie for eighth place with Texas A&M-Corpus-Christi (8-12, 4-5 SLC), but only 3.5 games out of first place and two games out of fourth place in the jam-packed Southland race.
The Lumberjacks enter the game with an impressive 7-2 road record and an unbeaten 5-0 record mark during conference play. SFA has won its last three games and nine of its last 10 contests.
The ’Jacks are coming off a 69-62 road win over Northwestern State Wednesday night. SFA was led offensively by senior Kevon Harris, who scored 25 points and hauled in eight boards and picked up three steals. Junior Roti Ware added 17 points and four assists, while junior David Kachelries came off the bench to drop in 11 points.
The Cards, coming off an 89-77 road win over Incarnate Word on Wednesday, have dropped four of their last six, but are 6-3 at home.
The SFA-Lamar series has been close, with the Lumberjacks winning 16 of the 31 meetings between the squads. The ’Jacks had won 10 straight in the series between 2013 and 2017, but LU has captured the last four, and eight of the 15 games played in Beaumont. The Cardinals took 82-67 and 81-79 victories a year ago, including the two-point win in Beaumont.
LADYJACKS vs. LAMAR
Winners of their last four and 12 of their last 13, the Ladyjacks will go on the road and try to keep pace with Southland leader Sam Houston State, as SFA trails the Bearkats (13-5, 8-1 SLC) by just one-half game.
SFA is in a pack at the top of the league standings, leading third-place Abilene Christian (14-2, 6-1 SLC) by just one-half game and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by one game heading into the weekend.
Lamar currently sits in eighth place in the league, four games out of first and three games out of third.
The Ladyjacks have had an offensive explosion as of late, averaging 81 points in their last four outings, while winning their last three games by 44 points.
The Ladyjacks are 4-2 away from home this season, compared to 9-1 at home. SFA’s only Southland setback came at New Orleans, a 53-50 setback.
The Cardinals have definitely fared better at home this season, posting a 5-3 record, compared to a 3-7 road record. LU dropped a 67-48 home decision to Incarnate Word on Wednesday and has lost its last three.
SFA has struggled against Lamar historically, owning a 12-15 record all-time. The Ladyjacks are 3-7 in Beaumont, including losses in the last two matchups. Last year the teams split their matchups, with the Cardinals winning at home, 62-46, and SFA grabbing a 70-58 decision at home.
“Our schedule gets a little more difficult now,” said SFA head coach Mark Kellogg. “We go to Lamar where we haven’t won since my first year here (2015-16). It’s a different coach and a different group, but it’s a solid team that knows how to win, and it gets even harder the following week when we play Abilene (Christian) and Sam (Houston).”