Lions corral Mustangs, 116-97
Rambo, Horne lead scoring frenzy
Defense squeezes 32 turnovers to fuel unbeaten Lions
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Leading for all but eighty-five seconds during the first half, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team rolled to 116-97 triumph over New Mexico’s University of the Southwest on Monday night in the Sheaffer Center.
Seconds after Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) tipped the opening jump-ball to Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ, Trinity Christian – Cedar Hill, Tx), there was no question who would shine the brightest. Rambo’s quick bucket was only a prelude of what was to come.
He had 26 of his game-high 33 points during the first half, when SAGU had a 57-45 lead. The visiting Mustangs, now 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Red River Athletic Conference, never got closer than 10 points (57-47) the rest of the game.
The unbeaten Lions (8-0, 2-0 RRAC) extended their lead to 26 on four occasions, the last being at 91-65 on a 3-point play by Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) with 9:29 remaining.
The Jungle Kings went up by twenty at 71-51 on a Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian) triple and maintained that minimum margin until a pair of Branden Jackson hit two free throws (96-77) at the 6:14 mark. The Ponies, who were led by Demetrius Evans' 27 (11-of-16), would not make a serious run the rest of the way.
Southwest entered the game with the NAIA’s 21st highest scoring offense at 82.4. SAGU’s defense was allowing just 59.5, which was #8 in the nation. Which would give? Turned out to be similar to last year's meetings, when Team Purp won 99-89 at home and 98-91 in Hobbs.
Two days after scorching Bacone College for the century mark in a 100-49 win, the Lions erupted again. By eclipsing 100, all fans attending the contest received a coupon for a free taco (with a purchase) at the Waxahachie Taco Bell.
Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. N.Texas, Waco HS) scored to hit the centennial mark with 5:32 remaining (100-81), prompting cheers from those running on empty. The senior is a stat-sheet stuffer when called upon.
The highly-athletic Mustangs couldn’t mount a rally due to the Lions carniverous man-to-man defense. SAGU forced 32 turnovers, 19 during the first half when the Lions (18 turnovers) established the lead. Rambo and Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) had five and four steals respectively.
USW shot the same 47% from the field as SAGU and had a 35-33 edge in rebounds. Their giveaways resulted in 12 less shots (80-68) than the Lions.
Officials cited each team for 27 fouls. Missing 11 free throws (27-of-38) didn’t help the Mustangs’ cause. SAGU was 28-of-34.
Southwestern had four players scoring in double-figures.
Rambo drew first blood and finished with a 13-of-22 effort that included four trifectas. Horne took only nine shots and still racked up 19 points in less than 23 minutes. He also yanked down five boards. Grigsby, propelled by 3-of-4 shooting from downtown, added 17. Guidry bagged 11 and three assists.
Nwelue (New-WELL-a-way) produced eight points, including a thunderous, two-fisted slam on a toss from Horne. Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Christian – Addison) bucketed eight points and had five caroms. Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. N.Texas, Connally HS) and Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) accounted for six apiece, with Ward collecting a team high six boards.
SAGU made 12 threes, missing by one the number that would’ve supplied the crowd with six hot wings from Waxahachie's Buffalo Wild Wings. They had 16 on Saturday versus Bacone.
Southbound road trip
The Lions return to the court in Austin this weekend for a Saturday night clash with Huston-Tillotson University at 7:30pm. The Rams, who went 4-27 a year ago, stole the home game against SAGU last February 19, 92-89. "We haven't forgotten," said Horne. "We will not take them lightly again." It earned Tillotson a split in the series after the Lions took the first meeting, 81-70.
SAGU concludes the fall semester in San Antonio on Monday with a big litmus test against Our Lady of the Lake University. The 24th ranked Saints (6-3, 3-0 RRAC) are the nations’ #1 offense, scoring at a 95.7 points per game clip. OLLU swept the series last winter, 97-73 in Waxahachie and 116-98 in the Mission City.
Following the Christmas break, the Lions have a January 5th road trip to Fort Worth. Awaiting will be Texas Wesleyan University (6-1, 3-0 RRAC) and the #6 ranked Rams.
Saturday Night Live
SAGU will begin broadcasting their home games in HD on SAGU SPORTS Live when Langston University comes to town on Saturday, January 7.
Clay Scarborough will once again lead as the show's host and play-by-play announcer. Tim Roberts, a media student at Southwestern, like he did during football and volleyball, is the color analyst.
Gibson returns to deepen arsenal
Southwestern will bolster their line-up when three players who are currently on their roster are activated. The trio could debut as soon as this Saturday, December 10, or as late as January 5.
Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Plano West HS), a 6’3 senior guard, is expected back any day. He has one semester of eligibility remaining related to his transfer from Oral Roberts University (NCAA Division I). Known for his long, long range artillery, he is Gus Johnson’s phrase, “from the parking lot” personified.
Gibson was second in the nation in the number of threes made last season at 103, hitting over 39% beyond the arc. He averaged 15.1 points per game.
Mason Grimes (McKinney, Tx / McKinney North HS), a 6’2 freshman guard, along with 6’4 sophomore forward Maurice "Mo" Oglesby (Arlington, Tx / Zion Academy), will soon be in uniform.
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