Jordan Harrison is the WAC Freshman of the Year.
On Wednesday afternoon at Orleans Arena, Harrison made an argument for Player of the Year.
Harrison nearly finished with triple-double to lead SFA to a 74-59 win over Sam Houston to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
Missed layups, missed free throws, and an uneven flow were all part of the first half in the final meeting as conference foes between SFA and Sam Houston. The defending champs shot just 38 percent while the Bearkats shot 28.6 percent in the first half. Avery Brittingham and Chyna Allen led all scores with 10 points.
Tyler McCliment-Call got things going with back-to-back 3-pointers to give SFA a quick 6-0 lead. Chyna Allen then got in the box score with back-to-back buckets. The street fight theme continued throughout the first half. Both teams missing easy shots while simultaneously having an answer when a shot was made.
McCliment-Call hit a jumper to give SFA a 14-7 lead with 3:44 left in the first quarter. But, Monday’s hero, Mikayla Woods, knocked down a 3-pointer and got fouled. Woods sank the free throw to convert the 4-point play.
However, SFA led by seven following a pair of Jordan Harrison free throws to end the quarter.
There were haymakers by both teams to start the second quarter.
Chyna Allen hit the first shot of the quarter. And Madelyn Batista’s layup made it a 3-point game 32 seconds into the quarter.
Chyna Allen’s bucket with 6:22 left in the half cut the deficit to two.
However, SFA had a response. Avery Brittingham scored four straight points to start a 6-0 run as SFA pushed the lead back to eight with 3:44 before halftime.
On three straight Sam Houston possessions, Kaylee Jefferson, Chyna Allen and Mikayla Woods hit 3-pointers to close the gap to three.
Avery Brittingham’s layup with 56 seconds left capped the scoring and gave SFA a 32-27 lead at the break.
The second half got off to quite the start.
Offensive rebounding was a big part of Sam Houston staying in the ball game. Madelyn Batista started the second half with an offensive rebound and put back.
Following an Aiyana Johnson layup, Batista did it again. Another offensive rebound and bucket.
Jordan Harrison’s driving layup gave SFA a 37-31 lead with 7:20 left in third.
However, Madelyn Batista responded with another bucket.
Aiyana Johnson followed that up with a layup on the other end.
Haymaker after haymaker in the final Battle of the Piney Woods as conference foes.
Aiyana Johnson’s spin move and jumper gave SFA a 41-33 lead. It was the start of a 9-0 run for the Ladyjacks that created some separation.
Jordan Harrison found Avery Brittingham with a nifty dime for the layup to push the lead to 10. Angel Scott capped the run with a transition 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 13.
Raanee Smith’s layup snapped the run. On the following Sam Houston possession, Kaylee Jefferson hit a jumper to cut the deficit to nine with 3:45 left in the quarter.
Jordan Harrison’s third quarter show continued on the following SFA possession. Harrison came down with an offensive rebound off an Avery Brittingham free throw miss, then found Tyler McCliment-Call who hit a 3-pointer. It was the third 3-pointer for McCliment-Call and pushed the SFA lead to 13.
Art 🖼 #AxeEm x #RaiseTheAxe pic.twitter.com/7xZ4qmA2Xt
— SFA Women's Basketball (@SFAWBB) March 8, 2023
On the following SFA possession, Avery Brittingham hit a second-chance layup to give SFA its largest lead of the game at 52-37.
After three quarters, SFA held a 54-45 lead.
Raanee Smith’s 3-point play cut the deficit to six.
However, WAC Freshman of the Year Jordan Harrison had an answer. Harrison’s mini 5-0 run pushed the SFA lead back to 11 with 7:48 to play.
Aiyana Johnson’s offensive rebound putback pushed the SFA lead to 13 with just under seven minutes to play.
Off the Aiyana Johnson free throw miss a few minutes later, Jordan Harrison came up with another offensive board. Harrison’s fourth rebound led to an Avery Brittingham bucket to push the SFA lead to 15 with 5:40 to play.
Had Aiyana Johnson hit the initial layup on the following SFA possession, Harrison would have had her 10th assist. Instead, Johnson was just a bit short, got her own offensive rebound and finished the easy layup.
It was all the Ladyjacks needed in the double digit win.
Jordan Harrison finished with 13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Aiyana Johnson finished with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double. Avery Brittingham also had 17 points and Tyler McCliment-Call finished with 13 points.
With the win, SFA advances to face Friday’s semifinals where the Ladyjacks will face the winner of CBU and Utah Tech.
Mikayla Woods finished with 13 points to lead the Bearkats. Raanee Smith finished with 12 points. Chyna Allen and Madelyn Batista each had 10 points.
Sam Houston ends its season at 13-17 overall. The Bearkats are set to join Conference USA in July.