Lions joust Cavs, now 5-0
SAGU defense stars in 68-58 triumph
Wood-Dvorak's 14-pts, Nwelue dunk highlights in the victory
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team remained unbeaten on Saturday night, defeating Saint Gregory’s University, 68-58, at the Sheaffer Center. The Lions jumped to a 14-4 lead and never allowed their lead to shrink to ten again until the final eleven seconds.
In contest filled largely with 48 touch-fouls that results in 60 free throws, the pace was as slow as cold molasses running uphill.
SAGU shot 47% from the field in a first half that saw them vault to an 8-2 lead before building it to 21-8 on back-to-back triples from freshman Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS). The perimeter game was effective as six different players stroke threes.
Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ, Trinity Christian-CdrHill) filled it up from downtown for a 24-10 and Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian) drained a trey for a 28-13 lead with 6:59 remaining in the half.
A foul shot by Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of N.Texas, Waco HS) pushed the lead to 39-19 a minute prior to intermission, in which SAGU held a 39-21 advantage.
The second half was evenly played as the Lions maintained a comfortable lead throughout. They led 49-31 and 54-37 when Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Christian-Add) assisted Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of N.Texas, Connally HS) when he knocked down a trifecta.
St. Gregory’s leading scorer Fayzon Richey was held without a basket until he hit a 3-ball with just 1:05 remaining. His only field goal drew the Cavaliers to within 65-54. That was the closest they came since the score was 17-6.
Richey was the Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Week after he canned 43-points in a game last week. The 6’3 junior guard was defended by Rambo and Guidry, allowing him to get off only four shots.
SGU (2-2) defeated 6th ranked LSU-Shreveport in their season opener. They lost to SAGU, 66-52, on November 5 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
New head coach Donnie Bostwick’s second unit appeared to outplay the starting quintet, though the first group outscored them 38-30. Neither squad seemed to care.
Dvorak topped SAGU with 14-points, the fourth different person to lead the team in scoring in their five games. Ward tossed in 12 and Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) netted 11. Rambo registered nine points while both Guidry and Feemster bagged seven.
The most memorable moment came in the first two minutes. Rambo, the transfer point guard, split two guards, knifing inside the lane. As he lept for an apparent floater, he zipped a laser just above the head of a defender to Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS). The freshman forward (NEW-well-ah-way) snatched the ball and a toupee as he soared for a two-handed jam for a 6-2 lead.
Horne, who led the NAIA in scoring last season, spent much of the game distributing the ball, even passing up shots. The senior relished in the balanced attack. “Winning is why you play the game,” he said afterwards. “Last year I had to score to keep us in the game. Now I enjoy a different role, and we’re winning.”
The Lions held a 34-33 margin in rebounds, 13-8 on the offensive glass. Guidry’s had a game-high seven boards while playing only 14 minutes. Ward, who was the best in the NAIA last winter, collected three. He spent the game strapped in foul trouble. In fact, SAGU was cited for 27 fouls (SGU had 22). Feemster was second in caroms, snatching five from the rafters.
Southwestern squeezed 26 turnovers from St. Greg’s, holding them to 38% shooting, including just 4-of-17 beyond the arc.
On Deck for the Lions
Southwestern has another game prior to Thanksgiving. They play host to Arlington Baptist College (Tx) on Monday, November 21. The game is slated for a 7:30pm opening tip in the Sheaffer Center. This will be SAGU's first game against the Patriots.
SAGU has an exhibition contest on tap for Saturday, Nov. 26, against Tarleton State University. The game in Stephenville has a 7:00pm jump. The Texans are ranked #8 nationally in the NCAA’s Division II.
Tarleton is a member of the Lone Star Conference where they went 24-6 last year and qualified for the D2 national tournament.
The Lions begin play in the Red River Athletic Conference on December 3 with a road opener at Muskogee, Oklahoma against Bacone College.
Their next home tilt after meeting ABC on Monday will be on Dec. 5 when the University of the Southwest (NMex) visits.
The team’s 5-0 start is their best in at least 10 years. In 2008 the Lions began 4-1. The club that earned SAGU's lone berth in the NAIA national tournament in 2006 was 2-3 after five games.
Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Plano West HS), a 6’3 senior guard with one semester of eligibility remaining, will make his first appearance in San Antonio in the Dec. 12th game against Our Lady of the Lake University.
Sponsor Game Goals
When the Lions make 13 three-point baskets in a game this season, every fan in attendance will receive a coupon from Buffalo Wild Wings for six free wings. Also, should SAGU score 100 points or more, fans will get a coupon for a free taco from Taco Bell.