Dec. 22, 2006
Nacogdoches, Texas - When it rains, it pours.
And it was raining three pointers for Stephen F. Austin forward Josh Alexander as he converted 7-of-9 of his long-range attempts for a game-high 31 points, propelling the host Lumberjacks to the 86-78 non-conference victory over Northern Illinois at the William R. Johnson Coliseum on Friday night.
As a team, SFA shot 61.1% (11-for-18) from beyond the three-point arc, and was sent to the line numerous times, converting 31-of-38 of their attempts for a 81.6% clip. The Huskies were again bitten by the turnover bug, as SFA forced 20 NIU miscues that led to 23 Lumberjack points.
"I thought our team played with great effort tonight," NIU head coach Rob Judson said. "We didn't get a lot of breaks throughout this game, but I thought our guys fought through that and kept a great attitude. That's life on the road."
The Lumberjacks received a solid performance from its bench as Keith Hardaway (14 points), Antuane Miller (11 points) and Will Johnson (11 points) each scored in double-digits.
With the victory, SFA improves to 6-5, while the visiting Huskies drop to 3-7 on the campaign.
NIU senior guard Mike McKinney (Evanston, Ill.) topped the Huskies with 19 points, while teammate Shaun Logan (Eldridge, Iowa) recorded his first double-double with a season-high 15 points and 11 rebounds. Senior center James Hughes (Silvis, Ill.) who fought foul trouble throughout the entire game, posted all 11 of his tallies in the second half.
Freshman point guard Cody Yelder (Calumet Park, Ill.) tallied nine points, while junior Ryan Paradise (Naperville, Ill.) made his first appearance since Dec. 2nd and collected nine points in five minutes of action. Paradise had been out of action since the Winthrop contest with an undisclosed illness.
As a team, NIU shot 53.7% (29-for-54) from the field, marking the first time in six games that the Huskies had made over half of their shots.
"There's some progress here and you can see a rhythm and a little better timing coming along for us offensively and the challenge for us is still defensively," Judson said.
NIU is back in action on Dec. 29th, as they travel to Poughkeepsie, New York to participate in the Pepsi Marist Classic and will battle the host Red Foxes for a 6:30 p.m. (CST) tip-off.