The Lumberjack basketball team defeated the University of Central Arkansas 83-68 in what will be one of the most memorable games in SFA history, after senior guard Kevon Harris surpassed former Lumberjack, Thomas Walkup, to become the leading scoring for SFA in Division 1 basketball.
The Lumberjacks have a 10-game winning streak with a 22-3 overall record, a 13-1 conference record and a .880 winning percentage. Harris and junior forward Gavin Kensmil led the team in scoring for the game with 14 points each.
Harris added three rebounds and two assists while Kensmil had six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. The team finished with a total of 44 points in the paint and 35 points from the bench. The Jacks’ highest lead was in the second half with 26 points.
In the first half, the Lumberjacks started off strong on offense obtaining the first three points of the game, but the UCA Bears’ defense held the Jacks from gaining a deep lead early on.
SFA finished the first half with a 46.7 field-goal percentage and a 40.0 3-point percentage.
The Bears’ defense was attentive to guard Harris as he missed his first four shot attempts. It was a dunk assisted by junior guard Roti Ware that allowed Harris to reach the milestone he knew he would achieve in tonight’s game. He was presented with a commemorative basketball at the end of the game followed by a video from Walkup congratulating Harris on the accomplishment.
Harris continued to gain momentum throughout the game as he scored a 3-pointer at the half time buzzer to put the Jacks up by 20 as the score was 42-22.
SFA’s defense forced a total of 26 turnovers and were able to score 26 points from fast breaks. The Bears had a 38.5 field-goal percentage and a 16.7 3-point percentage. UCA’s leading scorer was junior guard Rylan Bergersen with 19 points.
“Against one of the best offensive teams in our league, I thought we played great,” said Kyle Keller, head coach for SFA’s men’s basketball team. “It was a scary game for me, they’re a talented basketball team and I thought we did a great job guarding the 3-point line... I’ve seen a lot of growth in our team here so I’m pretty excited.”
The Bears were able to go on a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to 18 in the second half but were not able to stop SFA’s overpowering offense. With 16:01 still remaining in the game, senior forward Nathan Bain threw down a dunk drawing a foul for a 3-point play. SFA’s fans cheered as the Jacks forced an early win against UCA.
Harris said, “Regardless if I get 25 [points] or not, I know my teammates are going to handle business, they’re going to do their parts too. We’ve been playing together all year and it’s been working out. We’ve just got to keep it going, we aren’t done yet.”
The Jacks play a doubleheader on Saturday against the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals at 4:15 p.m. in San Antonio.