#8 Tarleton State holds off SAGU, 79-68
Lions drop exhibition game to Texans
Rambo scores 28 as Lions battle NCAA D2 power
STEPHENVILLE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team hit 11-three point baskets and forced the #8 ranked Tarleton State University into 21 turnovers in a Saturday night exhibition game in which the Lions came up short, 79-68.
The host Texans (5-1), who thumped fellow Red River Athletic Conference member Paul Quinn College, 81-46, earlier in the week, counted the game. SAGU remains a perfect 6-0 heading into its 24-game RRAC conference season.
The Lions were outscored 16-4 to start the second half, falling behind 52-35, their largest deficit of the night. Trailing 67-51, the Purple Pride finished strong.
A triple by James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy), two Rambo trifectas, a Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian) trey, and a 3-point dagger by Horne drew SAGU to within 76-68 with 1:03 remaining. It capped a 17-9 run.
Southwestern shot 42% from the court against a team that went 24-6 last year in the Lone Star Conference.
The Lions committed 16 turnovers while forcing 21. They were outrebounded by a 41-31 count, thought they did own a 14-11 edge on the offensive glass.
The Texans managed to convert 27-of-49 shots (55%), but missed 15 of their 19 tries beyond the arc (26%). The difference for Tarleton State was on the boards and on the foul line. They netted 20-of-33 free throws. SAGU hindered their cause by swishing only 5-of-14 from the charity stripe.
"We need to continue to improve," said veteran TSU head coach Lonn Reisman . "People thought they (SAGU) were going to come in and be pushovers. But I tell you, they are a really good team.”
Coach Donnie Bostwick’s troops played evenly with Tarleton State for much of the first half, tying the score once and taking the lead on another occasion. After a 3-ball by Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan, Trinity Christian-CH), the Lions struck again. Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. N.Texas, Waco HS) made a steal and fed Rambo for an easy fast break layup and the lead.
The Lions were within 25-23 when Horne assisted Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) for an inside basket. By intermission the Texans had held-off the upstart SAGU hoopsters, 36-31.
Tarleton was able to outscore Southwestern in the paint, 26-14, led by their bench, who had a 16-2 upper hand over their Lion counterparts. SAGU made effective adjustments in the locker room by limiting TSU to only eight points over the final twenty minutes. Southwestern, who scored 10 in the lane in the second stanza, witnessed their regrouped second-unit produce 14 points after intermission.
Sophomore point guard Rambo stroked 10 of his 21 shots to lead all scorers with 28 points. He also had four assists and five steals. Guidry tossed in nine, while Nwelue (New-WELL-ah-way) and Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) registered eight. Nine different players scored.
Horne, was saddled with foul woes, collecting five in 19 minutes. He finished with six points on a pair of treys.
Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. N.Texas, Connally HS) grabbed four boards in 22 minutes. Nwelue and Grigsby paced the Purple Pride with seven and six rebounds, respectively.
Bostwick played 11 Lions five minutes or more, eight with at least 14.
Fans can view and/or purchase photos from the game at Tarletonsports.com.
Lions Upcoming Menu
The Lions return to the court next Saturday, December 3, when they meet Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Their next home game is on Monday, Dec. 5, against the University of the Southwest. Both games are set to begin at 7:30pm.
SAGU has two road games on tap the following week before the Christmas holiday break. They face Huston-Tillotson University in Austin on Dec. 10 and Our Lady of the Lake University on Dec. 12.
The Lions’ senior guard Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Plano West HS) will be activated for the OLLU game in San Antonio. He has one semester of eligibility remaining. Gibson made 103 threes last season, which ranked him #2 in the NAIA.
Averages through Six Games
Three guards are averaging in double-figures in scoring, led by Rambo at 16.0. Horne is at 11.5 and Grigsby nets 11.0 per game. Ward is tops in boards, snaring 6.7 per contest. Horne and Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) average 4.7.
Rambo leads the RRAC by making 3.8 steals per game while also pacing SAGU in assists (4.0).
Southwestern is scoring 72.8 ppg and allow only 61.3. A year ago they racked up 80.4 offensively while surrendering 86.6.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director, at