SFA senior Stephanie Visscher is hoping to lead the Lady Jacks to another conference title, this time as newcomers in the WAC. Courtesy SFA Athletics.
News Stephen F. Austin

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks Women’s Basketball 2021-22 Season Preview

2020-21 had a unique set of challenges for all associated with college basketball.  It didn’t matter if it was the men’s or women’s side. As 2021-22 dawns, there’s a new league and competition for Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball to prepare for. But, like a lot of teams in this new look WAC, SFA returns plenty of talent from last year’s Southland Conference championship season looking for the same results.

Head Coach

Mark Kellogg, 7th Season
Overall: 390-108 in 15 seasons (.783%)
At SFA: 122-31 with 5 postseason appearances
2020-21: 24-3 Overall, 14-0 Southland Conference
Postseason: Southland Conference tournament champions, lost in NCAA Tournament 1st round to Georgia Tech 

Key Departures

Marissa Banfield, 5-6, SR, G
Alyssa Mayfield, 5-11, SR, G

Key Newcomers

Zoe Nelson, 6-1, FR, G/W
Angel Scott, 5-10, FR, G
Destini Lombard, 5-9, SO, G (LSU Transfer)
Tyler McCliment-Call, 6-0, SO, G/F (University of Portland)

Key Returners

Stephanie Visscher, 6-0, SR, G
Zya Nugent, 5-7, JR, G

 Predicted WAC Finish

2nd

Breakdown

Coming off a season where they won the Southland Conference regular season & tournament in convincing fashion expectations are high in Nacogdoches. 

Last year’s team ranked highly in the NCAA D1 statistics for a multitude of categories. Stephen F. Austin was first in Scoring Defense (51.0 ppg), steals (356), and turnovers forced (641). The Lumberjacks were second in scoring margin (29.2) and fifth in field goal percentage (48.2%).

They also received an Associated Press top-25 vote and finished 8th in the collegeinsider.com women’s basketball mid-major top 25 rankings. 

Stephen F. Austin’s Southland Conference average margin of victory (40.1 points per game) would’ve been enough to trigger a running clock in a high school competition in my state of California. I suspect their margin of victory number will drop but the Lady Jacks should still be contenders for WAC regular season and/or tournament titles.

Head Coach Mark Kellogg returns the entirety of his squad as they embark on their first Western Athletic Conference campaign. 

Stephanie Visscher, a 6’0″ guard from Sweden (and member of their National Team), was the team’s leading scorer a year ago at 12.6 PPG. Visscher shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range and 51.7 percent from the floor. The Jacks leading scorer also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. 

Stephen F. Austin
The Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball team returns nearly everyone from a championship squad in its first year in the WAC. Courtesy SFA Athletics.

Zya Nugent, a 5’7″ guard from Dennison, Texas, was second in scoring at 12.3 points. She was a sub 30 percent 3-point shooter a year ago at 28.6 percent. But  Nugent was second in free throw attempts (83) and percentage (80.8%) among those to enter all 27 contests. In addition, she added 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest. 

Scoring balance exists as four others in Aiyana Johnson and Avery Brittingham who averaged 9.6 and 8.4 points per game, respectively. Brittingham is the team’s leading rebounder at 6.4 per game.

Kellogg and his staff will have to find someone to fill the void left by the departures of Marissa Banfield and Alyssa Mayfield. The pair combined to average 18.1 points per game.

A matchup between the Lancers and Lady Jacks is set for January 29th in Nacogdoches. 

 

%d bloggers like this: