Lions, Steers face off tonight
Teams tuning-up for RRAC tourney
SAGU, Texas College have been giant-killers of late
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The final week of the 2012 regular season begins tonight when Texas College visits Southwestern Assemblies of God University (20-7, 14-7 in RRAC) for a key men’s basketball game.
While both teams are confident they will be playing in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament during the first weekend in March, they are more concerned about the way they enter the post-season. Desired words are healthy, focused, united and peaking.
The 7:30pm clash in the Sheaffer Center will be broadcast in HD on-line at www.sagu.edu. Fans can catch the action with free access by clicking on the Watch SAGUtv button on the home page. The preceding women’s contest, which starts with a pre-game show at 5:15pm (CST), is also being aired.
The Steers, under fourth year head coach Marquet Norfleet, enter the game with a 16-10 overall record. They are 12-8 in the RRAC after a tough, 79-71 setback at Texas Wesleyan University (21-5, 16-4 in RRAC) on Saturday.
The Horns, like SAGU, upset front-running Our Lady of the Lake University (21-6, 18-3) last week. Jamal Robertson drained a dramatic three-point basket with one second remaining to give the Herd something to moo about! The 91-88 thriller was not their first trip to the rodeo this season.
Texas College swept their rivals, Wiley College (18-8, 14-7), thumped LSU-Shreveport (19-7, 17-4) by a 75-68 count and topped St. Thomas (16-11, 14-7), 62-53.
Not only do they enter this game riding a hot streak, they have won 9-of-their-last-11, they lead the all-time series against SAGU by a 9-4 verdict. The new-look Lions, however, took the first meeting in January, 74-64.
Southwestern has also cooled off some upper echelon teams of late; routing Our Lady of the Lake, 106-80, and grinding out a 64-59 victory against LSU-Shreveport two days ago.
Both teams hang their hat on defense and rebounding. The Steers yield 71.8ppg and the Lions permit 70.2. They also take care of the rock.
Ranking #2 and #3 in the Red River in turnover margin, SAGU is +3.93 when comparing the number of giveaways with the frequency they take the ball away from opponents. TC is third at +2.12.
The Lions are second in the league in threes-made per game at 9.56. The Steers are 8th at 5.27. Essentially, SAGU attempts 29.8 shots beyond the arc, while TC launches 19.1.
While the teams are fairly equal in terms of rebounding, the Lions are more effective latching onto offensive misses (16.3 per game) than do the Steers (12.3). Shooting accuracy is another category the two clubs are even, though free throw skills are significantly different.
TC is tied with Texas Wesleyan atop the league by making 71% of their foul shots (25.5 attempts per game), while SAGU is next to last at 61% (21.8 FTA per gm).
Fans can expect to see Texas College rely on their starters and a few key reserves while the Lions’ depth, with head coach Donnie Bostwick calling on twelve players, will often wear down the enemy
Individually, the Steers are led by 6’6 senior post LaDarren Williams (15.6ppg, 9.6 rpg). The aforementioned Robertson is a 5’9 point guard. He is the squad’s #1 scorer (16.5ppg) and distributor (3.4 assists). Wendell Maye adds 13.6 ppg as a shooting guard.
The Lions could be led by any number of a handful of players, though sophomore guard Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan, Trinity Christian School) leads at 17.5ppg. Guards Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) and Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS), at 11.6 and 8.7ppg, can light it up when the situation arises.
Senior guard Jason Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Oral Roberts Univ, Plano West HS) was #2 in the NAIA last year with over 100 threes. He missed the fall semester and has begun to heat up.
Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) leads the troops on the boards. He snares 7.4 caroms per game while playing twenty minutes per game.