#27 Lions face #24 OLLU tonight
Livestream available for fans
Saints lead nation in scoring and three-pointers
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Defeating the no. 23 ranked Our Lady of the Lake University in the Mabee Center is a tall order for any team in the Red River Athletic Conference. For the men’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, beating them anywhere has been equally tough.
The Saints, whom the Lions play tonight, are in their third year of existence. OLLU has won all four meetings, topping the century mark three times. They lead the nation in points per game as well as three-pointers. The Lions know that stopping the Halos is impossible, but they do hope to have their brake lights come on enough times to steal a ‘W’ this evening.
The contest can be viewed by fans for free. OLLU (7-3 overall, 3-0 in RRAC) produces a livestream which can be accessed by copying the following link, then placing it in your web browser: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ollu-basketball----2010-2011-season
Both Our Lady and Southwestern can put points on the scoreboard in surges. OLLU has an average of 95.7 ppg; SAGU nets 82.1, which ranks #22 in the NAIA.
When it comes to knocking down the trifecta, they are practically even. The Saints are again #1, at 11.2 triples made per contest, while the high-flyin’ Lions come in at #3 in the country at 10.7.
Defensively, SAGU allows 64.2, comparing favorably to OLLU’s 87.4.
Assessing the OLLU Saints
The Saints, who employ an aggressive running game and fullcourt pressure from the opening tip.
Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham has a deep bench with five players regularly scoring in double-digits; Marco Cooper 21.2 ppg, Josh Orta 13.5, Ricardo Zanini 12.1, Robert Martinez 11.8 and Lo Ron Smith 9.9. Players to watch for on the arc are numerous. Those with the most treys include: Zanini with 22, Martinez 17, Eddie Ortiz 17, Smith 16 and Orta 14.
Last year OLLU won at home, 116-99, and 97-73 in the Sheaffer Center. The season prior, they edged the Lions twice; 104-95 at home (in OT) and 112-107 in Waxahachie.
Southwestern’s Head Coach Donnie Bostwick described the Saints this way: “They play hard, execute well and have bought into running a high tempo, pressing system. They are athletic and very good offensive players as well.”
“There is a reason why they are leading the nation in scoring and force so many turnovers,” he added during an interview while on the road. “In some ways they are similar to us. They are a hard-working, close group. It will be a fun challenge for us.”
State of the Lions
As for his own team’s recent play, Bostwick pointed out that “We really set the tone early and established our will against HT (Huston-Tillotson University). I saw the extra pass being made, which is a simple secret that results in improvement. Our half-court defense was very good early.”
The Lions built a 43-23 lead at the midway point in the game and went on to post an 86-64 win on Saturday night.
Bostwick also said that his squad’s development is encouraging. He said that “Our assists are climbing, which means we are making shots. We are also getting (defensive) stops and executing better as a team.”
The fan who has been heard to sing the Boomer Sooners fight song, said that two of his players are showing signs they are due to “boom” with a breakout performance.
Who is Due to Subdue?
“Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N. Texas, Connally HS) played his best game of the year (on Saturday,” he said. “And Ron (Ronald Horne, Waco, Tx / Univ. of N. Texas, Waco HS) is showing great senior leadership.”
“Since we are all new, especially with so many freshmen, I see progress every single game. I love to see guys bounce back from a bad rotation or a bad half and learn from their mistakes.”
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.