Stephen F. Austin (23-8) vs Sam Houston State (24-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 13th, 4:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Merrell Center (5,600) -- Katy, Texas. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: SFA 13-2, Sam Houston State 13-1. Away Record: SFA 6-6, Sam Houston State 7-6. Neutral Record: SFA 4-0, Sam Houston State 4-0. Conference Record: SFA 11-5, Sam Houston State 14-2. Series Record: Stephen F. Austin leads, 92-89.
GAME NOTES: With an NCAA Tournament bid on the line, the top-seeded Sam Houston State Bearkats will battle the second-seeded Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the Southland Conference Tournament championship game at the Merrell Center.
Last season the Lumberjacks captured this event's title with a win over Texas- San Antonio. This season the Lumberjacks finished 11-5 in league play and racked up 23 overall victories. SFA began this tournament with a 77-54 victory over UT-Arlington and followed that with a 60-53 decision over Texas A&M- Corpus Christi.
As for the Bearkats, they began this event with a 62-57 victory over Nicholls State and then defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 88-85, in semifinal round play. Sam Houston State was outstanding throughout the season, racking up 24 victories, while finishing with an impressive 14-2 ledger in conference play.
The Lumberjacks hold a 92-89 edge over Sam Houston State, but the Bearkats have won seven of the last 10 meetings, including a 66-57 decision over Stephen F. Austin earlier this season.
The Lumberjacks were not overwhelming in their semifinal matchup against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but the team did enough to grab a seven-point victory. Stephen F. Austin shot 47.8 percent from the field in the matchup, and also connected on 6-of-13 attempts from behind the arc. Walt Harris led the way with 15 points in the win, while Jordan Glynn and Jereal Scott posted 11 points apiece. Eddie Williams added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds in the matchup. Williams has been one of the best players on the floor this season for SFA, as the guard is contributing 13.6 ppg, to go along with 5.9 rpg. Scott is helping out with 12.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg, while Harris is posting 11.3 ppg for the Lumberjacks.
The Bearkats exploded at the offensive end of the floor in their victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, as Sam Houston State scored 88 points in the win. The team shot 43.3 percent from the floor, and finished with an impressive 11-of-23 clip from behind the arc. The Bearkats also enjoyed 30 points off 21 Southeastern Louisiana turnovers. Ashton Mitchell scored 18 points and dished out seven assists, while Corey Allmond also posted 18 points. Gilberto Clavell added 16 points, while Lance Pevehouse and Preston Brown contributed 14 and 12 points, respectively. Clavell is pacing the team on the season with 16.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg. Allmond is contributing 15.8 ppg, while Mitchell is netting 12.6 ppg, to go along with 156 assists.
The Bearkats have gotten the better of SFA over the past few seasons, and they hold a slight edge in this meeting. Sam Houston State defeated the Lumberjacks earlier this season, and should do so again, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sam Houston State 75, Stephen F. Austin 70
03/13 10:33:45 ET