S.F.A. hoops releases schedule

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team announced its 2009-10 schedule Wednesday, and the slate includes 16 home games, which ties for the program's heaviest home schedule since the 1985-86 season. The 16-game Johnson Coliseum ledger includes the four-team Etech Lumberjack Classic in December and a November match-up with Texas Tech.

"I was very pleased to finally come up with a schedule that gives us a good number of home games," said SFA head coach Danny Kaspar. "Certainly, the Etech Lumberjack Classic helped us in a huge way, in that respect. Having Texas Tech come to Nacogdoches is also a big thing and should be a huge draw with our fans. I think season-ticket holders will get their money's worth this year."

The 16 home games tie with the Lumberjacks' 2003-04 total for the most in Kaspar's tenure at SFA.

SFA will host Northwest Oklahoma State in an exhibition game on Nov. 9, then begins the season in earnest on Nov. 16 with a road game against Big 10 team Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 2008-09 season that saw them post a 22-11 record, finishing seventh in the Big 10 and earning a trip to the NCAA Championships.

The Lumberjacks follow that game up with three straight home contests. SFA will entertain Jackson State on Nov. 21 then host Texas Tech on Nov. 24 before wrapping up the home stand with a Nov. 28 game against Huston-Tillotson. The game against Texas Tech will mark the first home contest against a Big 12 foe since SFA hosted the Red Raiders in the 1999-2000 season. The meeting will mark the third straight season for the 'Jacks to square off with Texas Tech.

Following the home stand, SFA will take to the road for a rematch at Jackson State on Dec. 1, then return to Johnson Coliseum to host the inaugural Etech Lumberjack Classic. The four-team field includes Southland Conference foe Central Arkansas, as well as Southern and Cal State-Fullerton. The Lumberjacks will take on Southern on Dec. 4, then square off with Cal State-Fullerton on Dec. 5. This marks the first time in 33 years for SFA to host a classic. The Tall Pines Classic in 1976-77 was the last regular-season tournament held in the Coliseum.

"I'm very appreciative to Etech and their organization for agreeing to sponsor our 'Classic," Kaspar said. "This is a great example of how help from the community can assist us in creating a first-class, successful basketball program."

The 'Jacks will travel to Farmville, Va., on Dec. 12 for the program's first game against Longwood, then travel to take on Arkansas on Dec. 19. The game will mark the third time in four years for SFA to meet the Razorbacks.

The 'Jacks finish off their non-conference schedule with three straight home games. SFA hosts East Central Oklahoma on Dec. 22, Wiley College on Dec. 30, and Texas College on Jan. 2.

SFA starts Southland play on Jan. 9 with a road game against rival Sam Houston State. The Lumberjacks' SLC home slate includes meetings with Central Arkansas (Jan. 13), UT Arlington (Jan. 20), Southeastern Louisiana (Jan. 23), Nicholls (Feb. 3), Northwestern State (Feb. 10), McNeese State (Feb. 13), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 27) and UTSA (March 6).

The Southland Conference Tournament is set for March 9-13 at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.

For ticket information, contact the SFA Ticket Office at (936) 468-JACK (5225).

- SFA -