Jacks to face Crimson Tide after spectacular win against Duke

Junior guard Cameron Johnson attempts a shot during Monday’s game against Arlington Baptist University. Johnson had a team-high 22 points for the night having played 18 minutes. The Jacks won the game 114-49. It was their first home game after winning against Duke on Nov. 26.

The SFA Lumberjacks men’s basketball team travels east for its final nonconference road game against the SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide. The game tips off at 7 p.m. Friday at the Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

SFA holds a 7-1 overall record and is riding a three-game win streak. The Lumberjacks took down the Arkansas State Red Wolves on the road Saturday 76-57. Senior Kevon Harris and junior Gavin Kensmil accounted for 55% of SFA’s points as they scored 22 and 20 points. Kensmil recorded a double- double with 20 points and 15 rebounds. SFA is also coming off a 114-49 win against Arlington Baptist University on Monday.

The Lumberjacks made national headlines over Thanksgiving break after upsetting then-No. 1 and perennial power Duke Blue Devils 85-83 in overtime. After the defeat, the program received seven votes in the AP Top 25 poll. In addition to the team’s recognition, Harris was named the Lute Olson National Player of the Week and SLC Player of the Week.

Before the matchup, Duke had never lost to a non- major team when ranked No. 1 and held a 19-year long, 150-game nonconference home winning streak. In addition, the last time the Blue Devils lost a home game to an unranked team from a non-power conference was in 1983 against Wagner College.

After receiving a pass from teammate Gavin Kensmil, a junior forward, senior forward Nathan Bain sprinted down the court and scored the game-winning layup in the final seconds of the game.

After his performance, Bain, a Bahamas native, saw donations to the GoFundMe page set up for his family increase dramatically. His family home sustained massive damage from Hurricane Dorian in August. As of 11 p.m. Sunday, a total of $143,227 had been donated, far exceeding the original goal of $25,000 and a later goal set at $50,000.

The upcoming game against Alabama will be the second all-time matchup between the two squads after meeting last December in what was considered to be the biggest home game in SFA program history. Alabama defeated SFA 79-69 in front of a sellout crowd. In that game, the Jacks featured four players who scored double figures, including current seniors Harris and Comeaux with 18 and 13, respectively.

The Tide enters Friday’s contest with a 3-4 overall record. They recently played overseas in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas. Alabama placed fifth in the tournament after a 76-67 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels, a 104-89 loss to Iowa State Cyclones and an 83-68 win against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

Kira Lewis Jr., a sophomore guard and last season’s SEC All-Freshman team selection, leads Alabama in both scoring and assists with 134 and 32. He holds a field goal percentage of .467, a .368 three-point percentage and a .833 free throw percentage. Defensively, Lewis has recorded 37 rebounds, 10 steals and a block.

Lewis is followed offensively behind by junior guard John Petty Jr. The Huntsville, Alabama, native is second on the team in scoring and assists with 106 and 15. He leads the Tide in three- pointers made with 20. Petty holds a .446 field goal percentage and a .833 free throw percentage. Defensively, he leads with 52 rebounds and has recorded nine steals and four blocks.

SEC Network+ will provide coverage for the game. It is accessible through the ESPN app on smart phones, tablets and other streaming devices and on computers via ESPN.com.

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