NAIA Coaches Poll omits Lions
Recent setbacks lead to slide
Schedule provides proving ground for SAGU, fans
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- This week's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 Coaches Poll left off the local favorites from Southwestern Assemblies of God University for the first time since December.
The Lions are off to the best start in over a decade as their 15-5 won-lost ledger indicates. The problem is that since soaring into the charts with nine consecutive wins to begin the season, they have gone 6-5 since.
Other than a win over Oklahoma's University of Science & Arts in November, they have not been able to register a win over a ranked team. Beating teams you're not supposed to defeat is what turns the heads of voters, especially on the road.
Through 14 conference contests, Southwestern is 6-1 at home, falling only to Wiley College, 70-68. Away from 'home cooking' the Jungle Kings are 3-4, where they have come up short to Texas Wesleyan University, Our Lady of the Lake University, LSU-Shreveport and the University of St. Thomas.
The latter foursome will make trips to Waxahachie in February as the biggest games in the Sheaffer Center this season.
Calling Fans of Purple and Gold
The performance of the team, and their fans, will need to be at their best in order to deliver the goods.
It begins on Thursday, Feb. 9, when Texas Wesleyan comes calling. Two nights later on a Saturday, Feb. 11, OLLU will be in town.
SAGU needs a great start in those critical contests. In their five losses, they trailed at halftime. The 15 games the Lions have led at the break - they won.
In four of the five defeats the Lions actually outscored the opposition in basket points, only to lose on the free throw line. In the five L's, they combined to make 48% (52 of 108) from the foul line. Opponents have converted 67% (132 of 198), and advantage of 80 points, or 16 points per game.
In Southwestern's 98-79 defeat at OLLU, the Saints swished 34 of 49 free throws while the Lions knocked down only 8 of 28. SAGU outscored the Halos 71-64 in field goals, but came up 19 points short.
They have also come up short on the boards in four of the five games - they topped Wiley at home, 47-42. Enemy 'bigs' have outrebounded SAGU by an average of 44.6 to 37.8 in the five games. Otherwise, the Lions have more than held their own against the upper-echelon clubs.
Be Early. Be Loud. Be SAGU Proud!
Head Coach Donnie Bostwick's team has 10 games in the regular season, five at home. Every one of the five is against a squad with a winning record. Early arriving, packed crowds will only help.
That is five opportunities for a young and talented team to test their mettle against the cream of the crop. And five opportunities for a passionate fan base to express their support by showing their true colors.
NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll
1 Shorter (Ga) 21-0, 312
2 Robert Morris (Ill) 21-1, 302
3 Southern Poly State (Ga) 17-3, 287
4 Oklahoma Baptist Univ 18-3, 282
5 Our Lady of the Lake Univ (Tx) 17-3, 277
6 Rogers State Univ (Okla) 16-4, 249
7 Azusa Pacific Univ (Calif) 18-4, 247
8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky) 15-6, 235
9 Martin Methodist (Tenn) 16-5, 228
10 Montana State-Northern 20-3, 214
11 Mountain State (WVa) 16-6, 211
12 Georgetown College (Ky) 17-5, 205
13 The Master's College (Calif) 15-6, 202
14 Texas Wesleyan Univ 15-4, 185
15 Southern Nazarene Univ (Okla) 17-5, 178
16 Concordia Univ (Calif) 17-4, 156
17 Lee Univ (Tenn) 14-5, 136
18 Columbia College (Mo) 18-5, 125
19 Montana Western 18-5, 120
20 Univ of Pikeville* (Ky) 14-7, 119
21 Tougaloo College (Miss) 15-5, 110
22 Westmont (Calif) 15-4, 100
23 John Brown Univ (Ark) 17-5, 97
24 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan) 16-7, 91
25 Xavier Univ (La) 15-6, 67
*Defending national champions, the Pikeville Bears
26) LSU Shreveport (La) 53; 27) Union Univ (Tenn) 46; 28) Saint Xavier Univ (Ill) 37; 29) Freed-Hardeman Univ (Tenn) 22; 30) St. Catharine College (Ky) 20; 31) Oklahoma Christian Univ 12; 32) Westminster College (Utah) 11; 33) Voorhees College (SC) 9; 34) Point Loma Nazarene (Calif) 8; 35) Campbellsville Univ (Ky) 4; 36) Cal State San Marcos 3; 37) Evangel Univ (Mo) 1; 38) Univ of Science & Arts (Okla) 1; 39) Avila Univ (Mo) 1; 40) Baker Univ (Kan) 1.
Key: Number to the right of each college is their won-lost record. It is followed by their total number voting points.