Jan. 17, 2008
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Kenny Dawkins scored 23 points but Lamar was unable to overcome a 19-point deficit in dropping an 81-75 Southland Conference decision to Stephen F. Austin at Johnson Coliseum Thursday night.
Lamar (7-8, 1-1 SLC) trailed 47-28 with 17:42 left and fought back to cut the margin to three with 17 seconds left. But following a Preston Davis free throw that gave SFA a 79-74 lead, Darren Hopkins was stripped by Josh Alexander, who was fouled and made both free throws with 6.8 seconds to end the comeback.
Dawkins tied his career-high and also had five steals, with 17 points and three thefts coming in the second half. Lamar Sanders was 5-of-8 for 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Brandon McThay provided a spark off the bench as he made a pair of 3-pointers and scored all nine of his points in 15 second-half minutes.
Lamar shot 46 percent from the floor but SFA finished at 53 percent.
For SFA (14-2, 2-1 SLC), Alexander made six 3-pointers and led all players with a season-high 26 points.
Both teams struggled from the free throw line. Lamar was 18-of-30 and SFA was 23-of-33. Lamar's 75 points were the most allowed by SFA all season.
Lamar took its only lead of the half on a Matthew Barrow layup with 13:54 to play and led 13-11 30 seconds later on a pair of Tristan Worrell free throws. The teams traded baskets to tie the game at 15 before SFA went on an 8-0 run over a 2-minute stretch to take a 23-15 lead with 9:17 left.
The Lumberjacks stretched their lead to 17 on a Gerald Fonzie 3-pointer with 26 tics remaining before Dawkins made a free throw and beat the buzzer with a driving layup to cut the deficit to 38-24 at the break.
Lamar shot just 32 percent in the half, while SFA made 52 percent and was 5-of-9 from outside.
SFA extended the margin to 47-28 on a Nick Shaw free throw. Lamar trimmed the margin to 11 points on three occasions during the half but never seemed to be able to get inside single digits. Then, with the Lumberjacks holding a 71-57 lead and 4:04 to play, the Cardinals went on a 17-8 run that was keyed by a five points from McThay and capped off by Dawkins' three that led to Davis' free throw.
Lamar returns home to play host to Sam Houston State (14-2, 2-1 SLC) on Saturday night. Tip-off at the Montagne Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.