No. 24 OLLU hands Lions first loss
Turnovers and FT's prove costly
Lions meet their match in Saints, 98-79
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Davy Crockett, like the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team, suffered a painful defeat in the Mission City. For one it was permanent. The latter hopes it to be only a temporary setback.
Number 27 ranked SAGU met their match against no. 24 Our Lady of the Lake University on Monday night, falling by a 98-79 count. It snapped the Lions’ nine-game winning streak and knocked them from the unbeaten ranks.
At 9-1 overall and 3-1 in the Red River Athletic Conference, SAGU slid into fourth place. OLLU is now 8-3 and 5-0 in league play. No. 7 Texas Wesleyan University is 6-1 and 3-0, tied with Houston’s University of St. Thomas at 4-4 and 3-0.
The key factors in the defeat were turnovers and free throw shooting.
The Lions committed 33 mistakes that cost them possession of the ball. They were also whistled for a season-high 37 fouls, ten more than their citations against the University of the Southwest.
As for free throws, OLLU cashed in on 34 of 49 (69%) from the charity stripe. The Lions appeared to be aiming at a much smaller rim, swishing just 8-of-28 (29%). The Purple Pride’s top four free throw shooters combined to make 4-of-18.
SAGU did make five more baskets than the Halos, but it was a minor consolation.
The Saints, who have won all five meetings between the teams in their three-year history, also claimed control of the glass, 58-47.
Giving credit where it is due
“We were outplayed, plain and simple,” admitted Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. “There are no excuses here. I take my hat off to them (OLLU). They played well together. They shot the ball well, especially early in the game. They were better prepared than we were.”
“We missed free throws and did other things that prevented us from staying in the game,” he continued. “Being behind, we tried to catch up quickly. That just played into their hands. They were too quick for us in some ways.”
Bostwick mentioned the play of a pair of Saints who proved to be a handful. “(Ricardo) Zanini and (Lo Ron) Smith shot the ball well. Smith came off the bench and combined with Zanini for eight of their 11 first half three-pointers.” OLLU finished with 12 treys. SAGU had nine.
OLLU held a 54-40 advantage at intermission. The Lions could get no closer than twelve at 87-75 with 5:09 to play. The Saints scored the next seven points (5-of-6 FT’s) and were never seriously threatened again.
“Free throws are contagious,” Bostwick said. “Make them or miss them, and it effects everyone. They continued to take the wind out of us.” In the first half the Lions were three of fourteen on the foul line and coughed up the ball 17 times. That proved too much to overcome.
Southwestern led quickly, 4-2, on hoops by Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) and Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan, Trinity Christian – Cedar Hill). The Saints erupted for 13 unanswered points in the next 2:11 and never relinquished the lead.
They drew to within 18-16 when Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N. Texas, Waco HS) assisted on one of four triples by Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) at 12:03. A pair of Robert Martinez treys fueled a Saints run for a 48-30 margin (5:06).
The Saints flew out of the gates (13-2 surge) to start the second period for their largest lead at 67-42 (15:17). They kept their foot on the accelerator and maintained a comfortable cushion at 81-57 (9:55) and 87-64 (7:34).
Coach Bostwick’s Jungle Kings never gave up.
Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Plano West HS) made his first appearance of the season. The senior detonator pull the pin on a 3-ball to ignite an 11-0 string of points. Horne drained a trifecta in the run as well, pulling to within 87-75 (5:09 to play).
A basket by Josh Orta and nine free throws closed out a solid win for Our Lady of the Lake and Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham.
“We executed our fast break well and got open looks at the basket,” pointed out Coach Bostwick. “Tonight we just didn’t make them and were outplayed in the process.”
Dvorak scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the first half. The freshman also ripped down a team-best seven rebounds.
“He was the one guy who was focused throughout,” praised Bostwick. “Christian kept us in the hunt in the first half.”
Three other Lions reached double figures, including Grigsby and Rambo – each with 13, both hitting 6-of-13 shots. In his defense, Rambo was sick and persevered through it.
Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Christian – Addison) added 11. He bucketed four of his five tries, 2-of-3 beyond the arc. Horne had six points, also with a pair of triples, plus three assists. Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) led with five helpers in less than 20 minutes.
Coach Bostwick sums up first 10 games
“I am very proud of our guys,” chimed Bostwick. “It was a great first half of the season. The guys worked extremely hard and we’re still learning lessons that will help us down the road.”
Down the road begins in three weeks. The Lions next test comes on Thursday, January 5, when they visit Cowtown for another game with a league heavyweight. Texas Wesleyan University is ranked #7 in the nation. SAGU’s next home tilt is set for Saturday, Jan. 7. Langston University visits the Sheaffer Center.
Marco Cooper poured in 18 points to pace six players with ten or more points. Orta racked up 17.
The Saints three setbacks came against (RV) Northwestern Oklahoma State University (92-108), no. 1 Concordia University (91-110) and to (RV) Oklahoma City (73-83).
Key: RV – Team was Receiving Votes but not in the Top 25 at the time they played.