SAGU collars Bulldogs, 99-79
Victory sets up big game on Monday
Ward, Rambo, Grigsby and 13 threes sink Jarvis
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Hot as nine acres of onions, the men’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University connected on 55% of their shots and fired 13 three-pointers in a 99-79 rout of Jarvis Christian College.
Played before a near-packed Sheaffer Center home crowd that was as hungry as the Lions were hot, Southwestern broke open a close game midway through the first half. In building a 53-36 advantage by halftime, the hosts established both the pace of the game and control of the boards.
The Bulldogs regrouped and were knocking on the door when they came to within ten points at 66–56 with eleven minutes remaining.
Guess who answered? Sophomore guard Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ, Trinity Christian School). Held to eight-points in the first half, he was a scorpion’s tail against Jarvis. Rambo hit three consecutive baskets in less than a minute.
Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) then provided the “alley” and Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) slammed the “oop” for a reestablished 74-57 advantage at the 9:54 mark.
Creating opportunities with dashes inside or three-point daggers, he was successful on 7-of-11 shots after halftime, punctuated with two triples. His 27-points led four SAGU players reaching double-figures.
“He was awesome,” said Jarvis second year Assistant Coach Charles Lee, describing Rambo. “He killed us in transition defense.”
“We maintained him early,” he continued while standing outside the team locker room. The former head coach at Southwest Texas Junior College commented about some unexpected wrinkles in the Lions offense that freed up Rambo. “It worked for them. Coach (Donnie) Bostwick is doing a great job here.”
“They hit big shots and hustled for loose balls. Our hats are off to them. And their crowd was the biggest and loudest I’ve ever seen here,” chimed Lee.
Southwestern passes last year's win total
The win lifted the Lions record in all games to 13-4, surpassing last year’s victory total with thirteen games to play. At 7-4 in the Red River Athletic Conference, the Purple Pride is in fifth place. Jarvis, from the East Texas town of Hawkins, fell to 4-11 and 3-8.
“We had a good week of practice,” said Coach Bostwick. “And it showed. Our guys shot well, played better defense the second half and really dominated the glass all night.”
Ward, Ford and Gibson singled out
Instead of pointing to the obvious play of Rambo’s lightning, Bostwick praised the thunder of junior forward Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) and a pair of hot pistols off the bench.
“Our MVP tonight was Duce,” he pointed out. “He was a ‘man’ on both the boards and on defense.”
Ward raked in a season-best 17 rebounds, wiping seven off the offensive glass in only 19 minutes of court time. He scored eight points on three-of-four attempts and added a pair of assists.
“It was nice to see the bench give us a big boost at the end of the half. James (Ford) and Jared (Gibson) are great shooters and are 'instant offense' at times,” he quipped.
True. The pair was in their element in an offense that efficiently distributed the ball well.
Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Oral Roberts Univ, Plano West HS), the erstwhile #2 three-point scorer in the nation, and Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy) were, as Stephen King once wrote, “quick as a gunslinger’s draw.”
The dynamic duo each bagged a dozen points and combined for five triples. Gibson, with radar range depth, made three from both corners and a third was from Gun Barrel City (Texas).
A newly energized Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS) keyed the attack with pin-point passing inside and boardwork. He drew four touch fouls that limited his playing time.
Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS), a sophomore playmaker who has blossomed under Bostwick’s system, poured in 20-points. He swished seven of his twelve tries, two from beyond the arc, passed for four assists, made two steals and snatched seven boards.
Maurese Jackson led the Hounds of Hawkins with a game-high 28-points and 10 rebounds. Joseph Jacoby tossed in 10.
Southwestern out boarded the taller Bulldogs by a 45-27 count, with a 13-8 margin on offense.
Winging It: Lion shooters
As the game wound down the only question left was whether the Lions could somehow appease the crowd’s appetite for hot wings. Any game the team makes thirteen three-pointers; the Waxahachie Buffalo Wild Wings gives attending fans a coupon for six free wings with any purchase.
With 11 threes indicated on the BWW wall counter, Bostwick emptied the bench with a few minutes remaining. The SAGU “Sixth Man” stood to their feet chanting various forms of wishes for wings.
Maurice “Mo” Oglesby (Arlington, Tx / Zion Academy) took a feed from guard Adam Martinez (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS) and triggered a sweet trey from the wing that hit nothing but net with 1:39 remaining. The masses were salivating.
Clayton O’Neill (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) launched one from the corner that rimmed out, eliciting ooohs from famished fans.
Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Christian Academy), whose trey at the buzzer against Arlington Baptist College drew a mob rush on the court to celebrate the 13th, passed up a shot and dished a dime that Oglesby caught in stride. He uncorked another from the distance.
It ripped the nets with 0:31 remaining to satiate the throngs. He could have run for mayor after he tickled the twine from twenty feet. Mo, rhyming with his jersey number, #0, had zero misses in his three shots off Bostwick’s deep bench.
SAGU, who sank 59% of their 32 first half shots, finished by making 18 of 36 in the second half. The Pride also converted 42% of their 31 attempts from the arc. They limited the Bulldogs to 38% (13-34) after halftime and 42% during the entire game.
Southwestern could’ve won by a larger margin had they hit their free throws, a category they rank last (59%) in the RRAC. The Lions netted just 12-of-21. Jarvis didn’t do any better at 15 out of 26.
“Our post play wasn’t there all night,” said Jarvis’ Lee. “That is our strength and their defense in the paint worked real well. In fact, they (SAGU) work harder than any team in the league, except Our Lady of the Lake.”
“Our transition defense was not ‘on’ tonight,” he concluded. “Plus, we made too many unforced turnovers. As a result, they killed us.”
Southwestern, who trails in the all-time series against Jarvis, 9-6, have now won four of the past five meetings.
On Deck, St. Thomas in Houston
The Lions have little time to celebrate the offensive outburst, though they would love to keep their hot hands for their next game on Monday. SAGU has a critical game to wrap-up the first round of games against the 12 teams in the conference.
“We’re hoping we can give ourselves a chance to win on Monday against a really good St. Thomas team,” Coach Bostwick said. A victory would move SAGU into fourth place.
They travel to play the University of St. Thomas in Houston. The contest is schedule for a 7:30pm start in UST’s Jerabeck Athletic Center. The Celts (pronounced Kelts) are 10-7 overall and their 8-3 mark in the Red River places them in fourth, one game ahead of the Lions.
St. Thomas, known for its outstanding defense, swept both games last year, 71-56 in H-town. The year before the teams split, with the home teams winning.
The game is not available on livestream or Live Stats. Results will be posted here as they become available.
Pair of home tilts on Jan. 26, 30
The Lions have two home games later in the week. They welcome Bacone College on Thursday, January 26, and then host Huston-Tillotson University on Monday, Jan. 30.
Both start at 7:30 and will be broadcast by SAGU SPORTS Live.