Charles' Layup Late in Overtime Pushes SFA Past Northwestern State, 75-73
SFA Athletics Release
Stephen F. Austin senior guard Dallas Cameron was a freshman and junior guard Ty Charles was still in high school the last time the ‘Jacks and Northwestern State were involved in a one-possession game. On Saturday afternoon in Natchitoches, that pair found themselves in embroiled in one such affair with their longtime Louisiana rivals.
Forced into a dramatic overtime session in enemy territory, Cameron and Charles rallied their squad against the Demons throughout the frame and by the time the final horn sounded the pair had succeeded in forking ‘em once again.
Cameron capped his 16-point night by drilling a contested, game-tying three-pointer with 32 seconds left in the overtime session, and Charles finished the ‘Jacks’ comeback by putting in a game-winning layup with 1.7 seconds to go, lifting SFA to a 75-73 overtime win at Northwestern State on Saturday evening in Prather Coliseum.
NSU’s Izaihiah Sweeney missed a three-point try at the buzzer of the overtime frame, helping the ‘Jacks pick up their second road win of the season. The Demons’ Devonte Hall hit a pair of three pointers in the final 2:46 of the overtime session - one of which came on a heave at the end of the shot clock with TJ Holyfield draped all over him. Those heroics were all for naught, however, as SFA collected its ninth-straight win over the Demons by keeping its composure in crunch time.
Despite never leading in the overtime frame until Charles’ late layup, the ‘Jacks matched the Demons shot for shot. Holyfield fought through contact to finish a layup after NSU’s Ishmael Lane threw down a dunk to begin the frame and Canete splashed a triple right in front of SFA’s bench after Hall’s first three-point hit.
Charles finished with 14 to go along with team-highs in rebounds (eight) and assists (five). TJ Holyfield, whose fifth assist came on Charles’ game-winning bucket, put in 15 and Ivan Canete added 11 for the ‘Jacks in their ninth win in a row over Northwestern State.
An aggressive, fast-paced style of play employed by the Demons resulted in them scoring nine of the game’s first 11 points through the first 2:06. Izaihiah Sweeney notched five of his 10 first-half markerss in Northwestern State’s opening salvo and forced the ‘Jacks to play catch-up for the majority of the first half.
Fortunately, the ‘Jacks were able to withstand the Demons’ early scoring punch by using another round of first-half field goal accuracy. SFA connected on 52-percent (13-for-25) of its tries through the first 20 minutes and obtained its first lead of the tilt when Kevon Harris banked in a contested layup which made matters 24-23 with 7:21 left in the first frame.
Harris’ hit from the field represented the first of seven lead changes through the closing minutes of the half. Each time Northwestern State energized the Prather Coliseum congregation, however, it seemed as though Cameron was there to quiet it. SFA’s senior took it upon himself to carry the ‘Jacks through a back-and-forth first half and put in seven of the visitors’ final nine points of the frame to finish with 13 at the break.
A 6-0 run consisting entire of free throw makes in the last 45 seconds of the opening half capped a 10-of-14 first-half effort at the foul line for the ‘Jacks and allowed the visitors to carry a 37-35 lead into their locker room at the half.
After another early round of back-and-forth play in the second half that ended with the Demons taking a 45-44 lead with 15:14 left in regulation, Charles led a 10-2 run that put the visitors on top 54-47 with 9:00 to go.
During that run, the junior scored or assisted on all 10 of the ‘Jacks’ points and defensively SFA held the Demons scoreless for a stretch of 6:26
Just as it looked as though Northwestern State was dead in the water, it received a major shot shot in the arm from Sweeney. The freshman embarked on a personal 10-0 run that spanned three minutes and put the Demons back up by one, 57-56, with 5:48 remaining.
The ‘Jacks’ hopes for victory were waning after Hall drilled a mid-range jumper that put the home team ahead 65-61 with 1:34 remaining in the frame, but Holyfield sank a layup on SFA’s next possession and Canete put in a pair of game-tying free throws with 43 ticks left. Northwestern State could not get a shot off in the final seconds and that set up the extra session.
For the game, the ‘Jacks shot 50-percent (28-for-56) from the field and held a 20-point edge over the Demons in points in the paint (42-22). Northwestern State put in 46.7-percent (28-for-60) of its shots and received a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double from Lane as well as a game-high 20 points from Sweeney.
Hall added 17 more points for NSU while Sabri Thompson finished with 13.
In a rare one-game week, the ‘Jacks return to William R. Johnson Coliseum on Thursday night hungry to exact a measure of revenge against Incarnate Word after suffering a 70-68 setback to the Cardinals in San Antonio on Jan. 21. Tip-off has been set for 8:00 p.m. and the Southland Conference game will be televised on the American Sports Network.