SFA dominates Central Arkansas 95-69

SFA dominates Central Arkansas 95-69
Gavin Kensmil (Source: KTRE Sports)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (News release) - A dominant second half effort propelled the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team past Southland foe Central Arkansas inside William R. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday, 95-69.

The ‘Jacks built up a double-digit lead at the halftime break and put the pressure on the visitors in every way in the second half, riding a 52-38 scoring advantage in the frame to a lopsided final score. SFA improves to 6-2 on the season and 2-0 in league play with the rout, the third straight win over UCA in the series.

How It Happened: The Lumberjacks opened Wednesday night’s game in strong style, taking an early 13-4 lead after the opening four minutes of play on the strength of a 7-0 run capped by a trey from David Kachelries and baskets from Johnson and Nigel Hawkins.

SFA would continue to hold the lead for the remainder of the first half, including extending it out to a first-half high 16 points (34-18) with 5:21 left to go in the stanza, but the Bears would keep it close the rest of the way and trailed the hosts 43-31 at the intermission. SFA’s first-half lead came on the strength of a 13-0 edge in points off turnovers, a 19-3 edge in fast break points, and help from the SFA bench unit (20 bench points).

In the second half, the Lumberjacks opened the stanza with a three ball to set the tone and didn’t look back, controlling the half in resolute fashion. A 14-3 run stretching 2:13 seconds of game play turned a 12-point lead into a 78-55 lead with 7:33 left to play, all but sealing the victory for SFA. The run was punctuated by turnovers caused by SFA’s press which led to fast break buckets by Calvin Solomon and Johnson, part of an overall defensive effort that forced 19 Bear miscues and led to 34 Lumberjack points off those turnovers.

Leaders: Johnson totaled 21 points on the night, leading a group of five Lumberjacks to finish in double figures. Gavin Kensmil (17), Roti Ware (14) Nigel Hawkins (12) and Nana Anwti-Boasiako (10), each tallied ten or more points in the contest. Kensmil led the ‘Jacks with ten rebounds to secure the double-double, while Ware tied a career-high with seven assists and Kensmil, Anwti-Boasiako and Solomon led SFA with three steals apiece. Calvin Solomon had two blocks for SFA on the night.

Key Numbers: The Lumberjacks turned 19 UCA turnovers into 34 points on the other end, capitalizing on poor ballhandling by the Bears. SFA also held a healthy lead down in the paint, tallying 46 points down there compared to 26 by UCA. The ‘Jacks also tallied a 54.8 percent shooting clip from the field (34-62) and went 18-323(78.3 percent) from the charity stripe.

Controlling the Series: SFA has now three straight against the Bears and 22 of the 24 games played in the series.