Imani Johnson’s 19 points powered the Ladyjacks past the Houston Baptist Huskies, 65-53, to earn SFA its tenth-straight win and remain undefeated in conference play.
With the win, the Ladyjacks have had a 10-game winning streak in every season that Mark Kellogg has been the head coach at SFA. The Ladyjacks have had five-straight seasons with a 10-plus-game winning streak.
“It’s just the way you prepare, and prepare for every game the same way, get into your routine and you have veteran leadership that won’t allow us to look past a team and understand how every game is really important,” Kellogg said. “[Winning streaks] are hard to do, that’s really hard to do is to go on the road and string wins together, no matter what league you play in, that’s a really difficult feat. So yeah, I’m proud of it…but that’s to the kudos to the players and the coaching staff.”
SFA got off to a quick start courtesy of two-straight three-point shots from Johnson. However, it would be HBU who had the upper hand in the first half. Both teams traded blows until the Huskies took the lead in the opening minute of the second quarter, and did not relinquish the lead.
Coming out of halftime, Johnson once again nailed a three to tie the game within the opening minute of the second half. Both teams traded blows until the eight-minute mark when Alyssa Mayfield made a layup, got fouled and converted the free throw to give the Ladyjacks the lead. The Ladyjacks never looked back.
SFA ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. At the final buzzer, the Jacks ended the game with a 12-point lead—the largest lead of the game.
“Their size bothered us; they’ve got a lot of size, a lot of length that bothered us for a long time,” Kellogg said. “We knew that it could. We knew we probably needed to make some perimeter shots just to spread them out a little bit, didn’t make as many as we should have…But at the same time, that’s what I like about this team that we’re versatile offensively.”
Riley Harvey made her return after missing a few games with a foot injury. Harvey played 10 minutes and 47 seconds and made six points and two rebounds.
“It’s great to have [Harvey] back,” Kellogg said. “She’s still been limited at practice, so this was almost like a trial to see how the foot responds, so we’ll see how she does. We didn’t think she’ll be in there near the end of the game by any means. But she’s a veteran kid; she got the charge; she’ll do things like that. She’ll rebound, she can run like a deer. She got out in transition and got a layup or two, so it’s nice to have her back.”
After Johnson, four players--Chanell Hayes, Stephanie Visscher, Aaliyah Johnson and BriAnna Mitchell--scored seven points each. Mitchell also led all Ladyjacks in assists. Aiyana Johnson’s six rebounds led the team.
The Ladyjacks will be back in action against fellow front-runner Lamar Cardinals at 2 p.m. Saturday in William R. Johnson Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.