UIW guard Jordan Caruso brings the crowd to its feet with a slashing layup that tied the game with 44 seconds left.
Guard Kevon Harris produced 25 points and seven rebounds Saturday afternoon, and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks held off the Incarnate Word Cardinals, 74-71, in the Southland Conference.
In a game played before an announced 1,139 fans at UIW, the Cardinals erased an eight-point deficit and tied the defending SLC tournament champions in the last minute.
A driving layup by UIW freshman Jordan Caruso made it 71-71 with 44 seconds to play. But the Cardinals came up short at the end.
Despite one off its most inspired efforts of the season, UIW dropped its third straight and fell to 3-9 in its last 12 games.
“We fought hard and played with all our hearts for 40 minutes,” Cardinals forward Christian Peevy said. “We just hve to stay together and move forward.”
After UIW tied the game late, SFA responded with a possession in which Harris was fouled and hit both free throws for a two-point advantage.
UIW, on its next play, came down and watched as Augustine Ene misfired on an open look three-point shot from the right wing.
The rebound caromed out of bounds off SFA, giving UIW the ball out of bounds under its own basket.
After a timeout, Ene inbounded a pass intended for Charles Brown on the same right wing.
But SFA’s Davonte Fitzgerald lashed into the picture and got a hand on it, knocking it off Brown and out of bounds, giving the possession to the Lumberjacks.
Lumberjacks guard Shannon Bogues hit one of two free throws for the final point of the game with two seconds left.
UIW rushed it upcourt and got a shot off, a desperating three by Brown, but it was long and off to the side as time expired.
“We did some nice things and I was happy for the guys as far as their ability execute things and play together,” UIW coach Carson Cunningham said. “It’s just very difficult to win college basketball games.
“We’re just going to have to keep plugging and trying to break through.”
Stephen F. Austin 9-8, 2-3
Incarnate Word 6-12 1-4