Southland Conference Recap: Week Two

G Tyler Russell made the game winner as HBU knocked off NWST for the Huskies first SLC win - Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen F. Austin stayed hot this week and is the last remaining unbeaten in the Southland, while newcomers Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word both earned their first SLC wins.

1. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (4-0, 15-2): SFA took their show on the road this week, surviving week two as the Southland's last remaining unbeaten team. On Thursday, the Jacks overwhelmed Houston Baptist 77-50. SFA jumped out to an early 24-4 lead and never looked back. Sophomore Thomas Walkup scored 27 points on an incredible shooting night. He made 11 of 13 field goals and all five of his free throws. Senior Nikola Gajic added 16 points, seven boards and five assists. On Saturday, SFA went to Corpus Christi and handled TAMUCC 80-70 in a battle of the SLC's last remaining unbeatens. Walkup scored 21 points with 10 rebounds. The Lumberjacks have now won 12 straight games.

2. Sam Houston State Bearkats (3-1, 11-5): SHSU took care of business this week winning a pair of home games. On Thursday, the Bearkats built a 24 point second half lead but then held on for dear life, escaping with an 86-81 win over McNeese State. Junior Kaheem Ranson had 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists while junior Michael Holyfield added 14 points and seven boards. On Saturday, SHSU handed Nicholls their first SLC loss with an 88-61 blowout win. The Bearkats shot a scorching 57% for the game. Junior Jabari Peters was back to leading the way for Sam, scoring 18 points with seven assists and five rebounds.

2. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (3-1, 6-11): TAMUCC continued their strong conference start by splitting a pair of home games against the defending tourney and regular season champions. On Thursday, the Islanders beat Northwestern State 101-87. After falling behind early, TAMUCC ran away from the Demons scoring 50 and 51 points in the two halves. Senior John Jordan scored 22 points with eight rebounds and four assists. On Saturday, the Islanders fell behind early and couldn't overcome league leading SFA, falling 80-70. Jordan scored a game high 24 points, with seven assists.

2. Nicholls Colonels (3-1, 6-7): Nicholls split a pair of road contests this week. On Thursday, the Colonels defeated Lamar 64-60. The game was close throughout, but Nicholls used a key 7-0 run in the final minutes to seize control. Seniors Dantrell Thomas and Jeremy Smith led the way, as usual, scoring 15 and 13 points. Surprisingly, the Colonels got a major contribution from junior Sam McBeath off the bench. The Australian scored 14 points, including nailing four three pointers. On Saturday, Nicholls was soundly defeated 88-61 at Sam Houston State. Nicholls actually burst out of the gates, holding an early 13-2 lead, but SHSU cruised the rest of the way leading by as many as 30 points. Thomas had another big game for the Colonels scoring 14 points with five assists, three rebounds, and two blocks.

2. McNeese State Cowboys (3-1, 5-11): McNeese split a pair on the road. On Thursday, the Cowboys fell 86-81 at Sam Houston State. Down 24 in the second half, MSU put forth a furious rally pulling to within one in the closing seconds. Down by three, SHSU missed two free throws but the second miss was wedged between the rim and backboard. SHSU retained possession due to the possession arrow, then made the game clinching free throws. Senior Ledrick Eackles scored 25 points in the game. On Saturday, McNeese took care of Lamar winning 74-59. Junior Desharick Guidry scored 21 points with nine rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench. Eackles added 15 for the Cowboys.

6. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (2-1, 8-8): Oral Roberts beat visiting Central Arkansas 93-80 in their only game played this week. ORU dominated the first half outscoring the Bears 53-32. Senior Shawn Glover was awesome again, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Freshman Bobby Word scored 20.

7. Southeastern Louisiana Lions (2-2, 7-8): Southeastern hosted the two DI transitionals and escaped with a pair of hard fought wins. On Thursday, the Lions survived Incarnate Word 76-72. SLU missed seven free throws in the final 90 seconds to quickly lose a 12 point lead, but the Cardinals could get no closer than four. Four Lions scored in double figures, led by junior JaMichael Hawkins' 17 off the bench. On Saturday, Southeastern outlasted Abilene Christian 85-77 in two overtimes. Senior Antonnio Benton scored 27 points, including a jumper in the final second of the first overtime to tie the score. Benton also had 10 rebounds and four assists in the game. Hawkins again packed a punch off the Lions bench, scoring 20 points.

8. Central Arkansas Bears (1-2, 4-10): In their only game this week, Central Arkansas fell 93-80 on the road at Oral Roberts. The game was out of reach early as ORU built up a 21 point halftime lead. Seniors LaQuentin Miles and DeShone McClure scored 29 and 25 respectively, but the other nine Bears who played combined for just 26 points.

N/A. New Orleans Privateers (1-3, 4-8): New Orleans hosted the DI transitionals this week and managed just a split in the two games. The Privateers defeated Abilene Christian 87-81 on Thursday behind a very balanced attack. Senior Tradarrius McPhearson led the way with 19 points, while freshman Christavious Gill scored 17. Senior Cory Dixon had 12 points and 14 rebounds. On Saturday, the Privateers were stunned at home, suffering a 78-55 blowout loss to Incarnate Word. Freshman Nate Frye led the team with 13 points off the bench. UNO committed a season high 25 turnovers. Their three conference losses are the only three 20+ turnover games they've had this season.

9. Houston Baptist Huskies (1-3, 4-12): After being routed at home by league leading SFA on Thursday, Houston Baptist responded in a big way on Saturday. The Huskies got their first SLC win, knocking off Northwestern State 98-97. HBU led most of the game, but the Demons rallied to take a one point lead with 16 seconds remaining. HBU rushed the ball up and junior Tyler Russell put up a jumper that missed, but he got his own rebound and rolled in a tough put back with 0.7 seconds remaining for the win. Sophomore Rob Lewis stepped up big in the win scoring 20 points with six assists and five rebounds. Junior Marcel Smith scored 20, while Russell had 16.

10. Northwestern State Demons (1-3, 5-10): The strange 2013-14 NW State season continued this week as the Demons lost a pair of road games to fall to 1-3. On Thursday in Corpus Christi, TAMUCC ran through the Demons 101-87. Freshman Zikiteran Woodley continued his torrid play, scoring 27 points. On Saturday, the Demons lost in the final second at Houston Baptist. Trailing 96-89 with 2:30 to play, NWST scored the next eight points taking the lead on a DeQuan Hicks layup with 16 seconds to play. HBU got two looks at the winner, though, scoring with less than a second to play sinking the Demons once again. Sophomore Jalan West scored 31 points with eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Woodley scored 24 while Hicks added 20.

11. Lamar Cardinals (0-4, 1-15): Lamar dropped a pair of home games to remain winless in conference play. On Thursday, the Cardinals lost 64-60 to Nicholls. The game was close throughout, but Lamar couldn't overcome 28% second half shooting. All five starters scored in double figures, but the Cardinals got zero points off their bench. Senior Amos Wilson led the Cardinals with 14 points and 10 rebounds. On Saturday, Lamar fell to McNeese State 74-59. After falling way behind early, the Cardinals could get no closer than nine down the stretch. Sophomore Rhon Mitchell had 18 points and eight rebounds in the loss. \

N/A. Incarnate Word Cardinals (1-1, 13-2): UIW earned a split their first two Southland games of the season. On Thursday, the Cardinals rallied late, but fell 76-72 at Southeastern Louisiana. Junior Denzel Livingston led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds. On Saturday, the Cardinals collected their first Division I win of the season with a dominant 78-55 win at New Orleans. The Cardinals used a 28-3 run through the middle of the game and a strong 2-3 zone to stifle the Privateers. Livingston again led the Cardinals, scoring 29 points. Sophomore Kyle Hittle added 19.

N/A. Abilene Christian Wildcats (0-2, 6-10): ACU dropped a pair of tightly contested road games to open up their Southland campaign. On Thursday, the Wildcats fell 87-81 at New Orleans in a game that was close throughout. Junior Harrison Hawkins scored 19 points and added five assists. Junior LaDarrien Williams had 15 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. On Saturday, ACU fell 85-77 in two overtimes at Southeastern Louisiana. The Wildcats erased a 15 point halftime deficit to force overtime. In the first overtime ACU was two seconds away from victory, but a Lions jumper near the buzzer forced the second overtime. Williams (30 points, 9 rebounds) and Hawkins (29 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) again carried the load for ACU.

*The top eight finishers qualify for the Southland Tournament. New Orleans, Abilene Christian, and Incarnate Word are not eligible to participate this season.

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