Lady Lions hoopsters picked 6th
SAGU to open new season this weekend
Pre-Season Coaches Poll ranks all 12 RRAC teams
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Following a rebuilding season last winter, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Red River Athletic Conference by coaches in a pre-season poll.
The results were announced from the RRAC offices in Waco by Sports Information Director, Darin David.
After four consecutive winning seasons in which the team contended for the RRAC championship, was ranked nationally, defeated an NCAA Division I team and once finished as high as third in the nation in the NCCAA, SAGU battled through a 10-21 campaign in 2011-12.
The team started 3-0 before enduring a 10-game losing skid. The Lady Lions made steady progress the rest of the way, once pulling to within 9-13, before qualifying for a berth in the Red River as the eighth place squad.
Langston University, 30-4 last season, is the defending champion. They are a narrow choice over LSU-Shreveport (25-9) and Our Lady of the Lake University (26-8) according to the coaches.
Texas Wesleyan University (25-7) was chosen to come in fourth.
The LU Lions, ranked #8 nationally this week, have won the Red River for six straight years and are again the team to beat. They begin this season under new head coach David Johnson.
SAGU was the only team in the RRAC to defeat them multiple times in the past five years until TWU took a pair from them last year.
OLLU won the conference tournament in March by topping Langston in the semi-finals, 88-80, then edging LSUS in the finals, 76-73.
Langston defeated Columbia College (24-10) of Missouri in the NAIA playoffs before falling to California's Biola University (23-11) the next day.
The Lady Saints, who entered the NAIA tourney having won 10 of their last 12 games, were eliminated in the first round by Oklahoma City University.
The Stars (35-1), from the Sooner Athletic Conference, went on to win the national crown, 69-48, over Union University (35-3) of Tennessee.
The Halos have also handed the reigns over to a new head coach in Christopher Minner.
LSU-Shreveport gave the RRAC a third team in the 2012 NAIA playoffs. They dropped a first round, 79-55 decision to Lubbock Christian University (28-6). They return many of their top players along with head coach Ronnie Howell.
Predicted fourth are the Lady Rams of Texas Wesleyan. Under new coach Bill Franey the team swept Langston last year, lost a pair of overtime games to LSUS and split with OLLU.
Wiley College, from Marshall, Texas, is the pick for fifth. The Wildcats (20-10) surprised many during the winter, improving greatly on their 8-21 mark the previous season.
With Courtney Pruitt leading the way from the sideline, it is doubtful they will sneak up on anyone this time. Their biggest wins were over OLLU and Wesleyan.
SAGU is a sixth place selection
SAGU is a team in transition. Veteran Arlon Beadles, the dean of coaches in the league, has built a reputation on defense.
In fact, the Lady Lions have ranked nationally in scoring defense and in field goal defense in each of the past five years. Even during the growing pains of a 21-loss schedule the team’s shooting defense ranked #8 in the NAIA. Opposing shooters made just .343 of their shots.
Their scoring defense was rated #23 at 58.9 points per game. It was the only time in five years they were not in the Top 20.
They do this with a quick, trapping zone defense that is vexing to most foes. The team’s biggest win came in a 63-59 rally past Wiley.
This years’ Team Purp will be quicker and have added to their offensive arsenal.
Jarvis Christian College and Head Coach Elissia Burwell figure to compete with everyone. The Lady Bulldogs went 15-10 a year ago.
Following a win over LSU-Shreveport they were 15-7.
Teams eight through twelve in the poll were Texas College (11-19), University of St. Thomas (8-22), Bacone College (11-19), Huston-Tillotson University (6-22) and the University of the Southwest (10-20).
The latter two tied for eleventh.
Paul Quinn College is not fielding a women's team this season.
Lady Lions tip-off season this weekend
A complete preview of the SAGU Lady Lions will be posted on Thursday.
SAGU opens their season this weekend, November 2-3 in Oklahoma City.
The Lady Lions are entered in the Southwestern Christian University Classic. They will take on the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) on Friday at 5:00pm. The Lady Drovers, from the Sooner Athletic Conference, were 5-24 last year.
On Saturday they will meet the host SCU Lady Eagles (16-16), also at 5:00pm. The future member of the SAC, along with SAGU, is currently from the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Both games will be available on livestream for fans at the Southwestern Christian athletic website at www.scueagles.com.
The Lady Lions return home for the SAGU Classic, Nov. 9-10.
RRAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll Results
Following are the results with points awarded through a 12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. First place votes are shown in parentheses.
1. Langston University (Ok) (4) 120
2. LSU Shreveport (4) 119
3. Our Lady of the Lake University (Tex) (2) 114
4. Texas Wesleyan University 99
5. Wiley College (Tex) (1) 89
6. SAGU (Tex) 65
7. Jarvis Christian College (Tex) 60
8. Texas College 50
9. University of St. Thomas (Tex) 47
10. Bacone College (Ok) 43
11. Huston-Tillotson University (Tex) 26
University of the Southwest (NMex) 26