After both the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks opened conference play with a win over HBU, both teams will turn their attention to McNeese for Saturday’s slate of games at opposite venues.
The ‘Jacks (9-2, 1-0 SLC) are coming off a 96-68 win over the Huskies at William R. Johnson and will take on the McNeese Cowboys (5-6,0-0 SLC) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the H&HP Complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Ladyjacks (7-2, 1-0 SLC) will battle the Cowgirls (3-6, 0-0 SLC) in the friendly confines of William R. Johnson Coliseum at 2 p.m.
The men’s game will be televised on Cowboy Insider with live stats for both games available at sfajacks.com. The women will be broadcasted on ESPN+.
Here’s what’s in store for the two teams:
The Lumberjacks will come into the matchup with McNeese fresh off a 96-68 win over the winless Houston Baptist Huskies Wednesday night. However, they may have their hands full with this McNeese team. The Cowboys are currently riding a three-game winning streak with their latest victory being a 109-67 win over Paul Quinn College — The Lumberjacks’ next opponent after the Cowboys matchup.
McNeese currently sits atop of the conference in terms of scoring offense. The Cowboys average 83.7 points per game, narrowly edging the Lumberjacks who sit at second with 83.3. McNeese is also an efficient shooting team, positioned at the top of the conference with a staggering .528 field goal percentage. Again, beating the Lumberjacks who are second with .488.
The McNeese offense relies heavily on shooting the three. This season, they have made 108 shots out of 243 for a three-point field goal percentage of .444. The Cowboys also share the ball well with a conference-leading 188 assists, and average 17.1 assists per game.
However, the SFA defense has been a staple for the team this season. Despite being ranked the fifth-best scoring defensive team in the conference by averaging 67.6 points allowed per game, they sit atop the rankings in rebounding defense with 30.5 per game and steals with 11.6 per game. Leading the charge in steals for the Lumberjacks is senior John Comeaux with 2.7 steals per game.
Scoring for the Lumberjacks will be relied heavily on senior Kevon Harris who leads the conference with 18.2 points per game. However, trailing closely behind is McNeese’s Shamarkus Kennedy who sits in second with 17.1.
The Ladyjacks come into the matchup on a roll, having won their previous five games. In their last three games, the Ladyjacks have outscored their opponents 79-40.
Leading the charge for the Ladyjacks will be Aiyana Johnson, who holds a field goal percentage of .573 to lead the team, and is coming off a 20-point outing against Houston Baptist on Wednesday night. Stephanie Visscher has been the ironwoman for this SFA team, leading the team with an average of 32.1 minutes per game, and scoring with 13 points per game.
The Ladyjacks, who usually excel from beyond the arc, only made two three-pointers against Houston Baptist. Marissa Banfield will be relied heavily to right the ship, with 26 threes made and a staggering .361 three-point percentage.
The Cowgirls, who are coming off an 81-77 win over LSU-Shreveport, will rely on scoring from Callie Maddox who leads the team with 12.3 points a game.
McNeese excels on the glass, led by Damilola Balogun and Bre’Ashlee Jones who average 8 and 7.1 rebounds per game, respectively.
Last season, the Ladyjacks won their only matchup against McNeese in a 97-48 throttling in Lake Charles.