Second half run dooms LSUA in loss

NACOGDOCHES–The LSUA men’s basketball team hung around into the second half, but Stephen F. Austin used a second half run to pull away for a 97-79 exhibition win Sunday evening at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.

“I give credit to our players,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “We had a short turnaround after an emotional win against Mobile. We played in a road environment and Stephen F. Austin is a regular in the NCAA Tournament and won at Duke last season.”
“Jordan Adebutu scored 16 in the first half, including two consecutive 3-pointers to end the half, giving the Generals a 40-39 lead at the end of the half.
SFA (3-0) began the game by making four consecutive shots from the field and led 17-8 six and a half minutes into the game. LSUA scored eight straight, which was ended on a 3-pointer by freshman Jakemin Abney and free throw by Adebutu.
The Generals (7-2) took their first lead on a jumper by Jalen Perkins and layup by Abney, making it 22-21.
The teams exchanged baskets for much of the half before Cameron Johnson scored on a layup for two of his game-high 29, and a pair of Nigel Hawkins free throws put SFA in front 39-34.
That set the stage for Adebutu. He drained a deep 3-pointer from the left wing, and it was followed by burying a triple from the top of the key to put LSUA in front at the break.
In the first half, the Generals shot 48.1 percent from the field and held the Lumberjacks to just 38.5 percent shooting and forced SFA to eight turnovers in the first half and 21 total for the game.
The Generals scored 31 fast break points.
SFA took control in the second half early on, scoring the first nine points to grab an eight-point lead and never looked back. Those nine points were scored by Johnson (5) and David Kachelries (4).
A Munson triple cut it to 48-43, but the Generals never made it closer than that. Abney scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half to try to keep it close.
“In the second half, we couldn’t really weather the storm,” Cordaro said. “They made a couple of 3-pointers and we couldn’t hold them off the boards for long enough.”
The Lumberjacks shot 67.7 percent in the second half and 71.4 percent from deep.
SFA used its size to its advantage, dominating the paint, scoring 46 points.
Hawkins scored 18 for SFA and Calvin Solomon finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
“We found some things we need to work on and SFA’s coaches said they found some things they need to work on. We got better and this experience will only help us moving forward.”

The Generals play their second consecutive Division I opponent on Tuesday night when LSUA travels to Lafayette for a battle with ULL.