NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin defeated New Mexico State 69-60 to win their fifth consecutive game and 13th consecutive regular season conference game. The Lumberjacks improve to 11-5 (3-0) and the Aggies fall to 7-8 (0-3).

It was a strong defense outing for the Lumberjacks tonight and it started right from the get-go. After allowing an opening layup, the defense locked up and the ‘Jacks went on an 11 point run and didn’t allow the Aggies to score again for another seven minutes. As the first half continues, the Lumberjacks grew their lead all the way to 30-14 and everything seemed to be going their way. However, momentum seemed to switch sides as the Aggies cut the lead down to 31-24 and ended the half on a eight point run following a couple of three pointers from Xavier Pinson. The Aggie’s ability to get the offensive rebounds played a major role in them getting back in the game as they were able to outscore the ‘Jacks 11-3 in offensive rebounds in the first half.

Four minutes into the second half, the Lumberjacks were able to regain a double-digit lead over the Aggies, but then after a couple of consecutive deep three’s and free throws, the Aggies found themselves behind by only one possession. That small point margin didn’t last long as both Nana Antwi-Boasiako and Latrell Jossell nailed back-to-back three’s to give the ‘Jacks a comfortable lead once again. The biggest defensive highlight of the night came with 12:49 remaining on the clock when Jaylin Jackson-Posey, who was making his first game back from injury, threw up a monster block on DaJuan Gordon who was attempting to go for a dunk. The Lumberjacks were able to ride out most of the second half with a double-digit lead thanks to Jossell who was on fire beyond the arc, and made three additional three pointers. To put the cherry on top of the ‘Jack’s dominate performance, Nana recovered an offensive rebound within the last minute and threw down a powerful dunk to put the game away.

Sadaidriene Hall recorded his seventh game of scoring at least 15 points and lead the Lumberjacks with 18 points, along with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three blocks. Jossell dominated from deep, scoring 15 points on five three-pointers, four of them coming in clutch in the second half. Roti Ware put down his fifth double-digit scoring performance of the year, putting 11 points on the board as well as three rebounds and a team-leading four assists. Nana showed his range tonight and recorded ten points, five assists, and a block.

The Lumberjacks lead in the following statistical categories: field goal percentage (42.4-39.0), three point percentage (35.0-31.6), free throw percentage (63.2-53.3), blocks (6-3), fast break points (6-2), steals (7-3), points off turnovers (18-8), and second chance points (12-11).

The ‘Jacks now prep to take on Grand Canyon at home on Saturday, January 7th as they look to go for their sixth straight win. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

Sign up for KETK’s Local Sports Newsletter for the latest East Texas sports coverage delivered weekly to your inbox.