Free Throws prove very costly in setback
SAGU hosts Bacone on Thursday
HOUSTON, Texas -- The men's basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, as is their style, won the hustle points tonight, but when it came to delivering free throws, it was another story. The University of St. Thomas won the game, 76-68, largely due to their success on the charity stripe.
The Celts converted 23 of their 30 attempts while the Lions could swish just 13 of 27.
"It was one of those nights," said Donnie Bostwick, SAGU's first year Head Coach. "We are still struggling to get over the hump on the road," he said of the Lions' 3-4 conference mark in games away from the Sheaffer Center. They are 4-1 at home.
A promising view of their remaining 12 conference games is that four of the five teams who topped the 'Cats on the road will come to Waxahachie down the stretch.
The Lions are in sixth place in league action with a 7-5 slate. The five teams ahead of them in the standings are the five who have defeated them. Overall, Team Purp is 13-5. UST is 11-7 overall and 9-3 in the RRAC, where they are tied for third.
Southwestern trailed by just seven points with three minutes remaining in the first half before the Celts surged to a 42-29 score at intermission.
The Lions battled, chipping away at the deficit in the second stanza. They drew to within four-points near the eight-minute mark. The opportunity to complete a comeback was at hand, only to discover the charity stripe was not so charitable.
SAGU misfired on eight of their next nine free throws. They were painful numbers at game's end as the final margin was eight points.
"We are a good team," Bostwick added. "And, once again we never quit. It is so frustrating to work so hard only to let missed foul
shots prevent you from closing the gap."
Southwestern led the Red River Athletic Conference in free throw accuracy last winter when they knocked them down at a 73% rate. So far this season, which is at the midway point, they are last in the league at 59%.
"I will tell you this," the coached continued, "We will get back to the drawing board tomorrow."
What the free throws so valuable in the game was the fact they could have negated the Celtics' height and shooting advantage.
St. Thomas dominated the paint where they controlled the pace of the game with a 47-33 margin in rebounds. The Lions did grab a 13-11 edge on the offensive glass.
In terms of shooting success, the Celts (pronounced like Kelts) made 22 of 50 attempts (44%) and nine out of 19 from beyond the arc (47%). By contrast, SAGU converted 23 of 64 (36%) and were nine of 31 from long distance (29%).
The reason they were able to have 14 more shots than the hosts was a season-best performance taking of the basketball, where they commited only 10 turnovers. The Celts were forced into twenty.
Cats' Player Stats
Individually, Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan, Trinity Christian School) paced the team with 26 points while collecting seven steals on defense. St. Thomas made him work, evident in his 9-of-21 shooting effort, which included 4-of-10 from the arc. Along with Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) - who is the team's best free throw shooter, they combined to make just 10 of 19 foul shots and 4 of 13 threes.
Grigsby finished with 10 points and a team-high four assists.
Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS) added 11 points. He was the o nly player on the team to make half of their shots, ripping the nets on three of six attempts from downtown. Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. N.Texas, Connally HS) led the club on the glass with seven rebounds.
Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) tallied six points and clutched a half dozen boards.
Home Games on Thursday and Monday
In the RRAC everyone plays everyone twice, meaning the 13 teams have a 24-game schedule against one another. Round One is now complete. The second circuit starts later this week.
On deck for the Lions are a pair of home tilts this coming Thursday and Monday. They face Bacone College (3-14, 2-10 in RRAC) on January 26 and Huston-Tillotson University on Jan. 30.
Both are slated for 7:30pm (CST) starts (roughly twenty minutes following the Lady Lions game).
Fans can view each game in high definition over the internet as a SAGU SPORTS Live broadcast will be aired. Live Stats, a textual version of the play-by-play of the game will also be available.