Last regular season home games tonight
Four seniors honored between games
SAGU plays host to St. Thomas
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The last of thirty regular-season college basketball games will be played tonight when the University of St. Thomas visits the Sheaffer Center to meet Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
The women's game will begin at 5:30pm, followed by the men's contest, which is slated for a 7:30pm jumpball. However, a brief ceremony between the games to honor senior players could affect the scheduled start of the nightcap.
It will be the 15th home game of the season for both the Lady Lions and Lions. Both will be broadcast over the internet in HD by SAGU SPORTS Live. Free access is available at www.sagu.edu by clicking on the Watch SAGUtv button on the home page.
Clay Scarborough is the host and provides the play-by-play account of the games while Tim Roberts is the color analyst. The pair also announced football and volleyball games this year. The pre-game show is set to begin approximately at 5:15pm (CST).
SAGU to host the RRAC Tournament, March 2-3, 5
Southwestern will host the Red River Athletic Conference tournament for the top eight mens and womens teams next weekend. Eight games will be played on Friday, March 2, beginning at 8:00am. The last quarterfinal match is set to commence at 10:00pm.
Semi-final action is on tap for 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm and 8:00pm the following day.
The women's and men's championship games are scheduled for Monday, March 5, at 5:00pm and 7:30pm respectively. The Waxahachie Chicken Express is sponsoring this year's tourney, and will broadcast the finals that night.
SOUTHWESTERN -vs- St. THOMAS
The Lady Lions enter the game with St. Thomas with a berth in the RRAC tournament on-the-line. It has been a rebuilding season for SAGU, who averaged 24 wins per season the previous three campaigns.
At 9-20 overall and 6-17 in games against teams in the Red River, the Lady Lions can qualify for the eighth and final position in the tourney. They would meet the regular-season champions from Langston University (28-2, 22-2 in RRAC), likely at 4:00pm on Friday.
SAGU is "in" the tourney unless Huston-Tillotson University (6-21, 6-17 RRAC) upsets Texas Wesleyan University (23-6, 18-5 RRAC) in Austin tonight. The Wesleyan women won in Ft. Worth, 76-61, in January.
The Lady Celts (pronounced like Kelts) are wrapping up their inaugural season of play at 7-21 in all games and are 4-18 against RRAC foes. They have one more game yet to be played this week, Wednesday, against Paul Quinn College.
Southwestern eked out a 54-46 triumph against UST in Houston last month. Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) had 17 rebounds and 12 points to lead SAGU to the win in a game that was tied at the half. Gaby Guzman led all scorers with 20 for the Celts.
The Celts average scoring 57 points per game, five more than the Lady Lions. Their leading scorer is a junior guard, Hershiira Boone-Rogers, whose average of 11.6 ppg includes 33 three-point baskets. Guzman, with 31 triples, totes a 9.5 norm.5 Gaby Guzman
SAGU is paced by sophomore guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS), who paces the Purple Pride with 13.8 ppg. Nia (NEE-ya), who has connected from long-distance 61 times, was held to 11 in the first meeting with St. Thomas. She ranks as the #10 overall scorer in the RRAC and is sixth in trifectas.
Junior Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS) currently ranks second in the nation in blocking shots. Her 3.821 rejections per game trails Alice Honnery of the Univ. of Mobile (Ala). Honnery has 110 swats in 28 games, a 3.928 average, compared to Shaq's 107 in 28. Roberts needs three to equal her in total blocks, but seven to win the title at 3.931.
Roberts is scoring 8.2 ppg and rips down 10.4 rebounds per outing.
Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) has struggled through an injury-riddled season, but has managed to score 7.8 ppg and hit 38 threes.
Co-Captain Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) scores 7.7 and grabs 7.6 boards per game and Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian), also a volleyball standout at SAGU, is a reserve guard scoring two points per appearance. Her .464 shooting accuracy is tops on the team.
SAGU MEN -vs- UST MEN
The men's game could very well be a preview of a Friday tournament quarterfinal between the Lions and Celts, possibly at 6:00pm.
St. Thomas, a new member in the the Red River, has proven to be a very tough team to beat, as their 17-11 and 15-7 mark against fellow conference foes indicates. They have the league's most effective defense, surrendering only 66.3 ppg. Combined with an offense that makes the least mistakes, just 13.8 turnovers per outing, the Celts don't often beat themselves.
They held off SAGU a month ago, 76-68, as they dominated the boards by a 47-33 count.
UST owns wins over Texas College (on Saturday, 67-53) and a rout of Texas Wesleyan, 79-58. They have lost twice to LSU-Shreveport - each time by four points, and a pair of three-point setbacks to Our Lady of the Lake and Wesleyan. They are 3-4 in February, with their largest loss coming by four.
Balanced scoring from Jeremy Lewis (15.1 ppg), Anthony Medina (11.8) and Travis Lampley (10.7) helps share the wealth on a unit that is third in the Red River in three-pointers at 7.7 per game.
Only OLLU and SAGU, at 12.4 and 9.4 treys per game are above the defensive-minded H-town hoopsters. Lewis and Lampley are guards while Medina is a center.
If the score is in the 70's or lower, the Celts are likely in control. SAGU prefers velocity, scoring 80+ thirteen times. St. Thomas has eclipsed the 80-point marker only five times in 28 games, though they won on four of those occasions.
Southwestern has a trio of playmaking guards in their starting group; Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ, Trinity Christian School), Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) and Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS), who account for 17.5, 11.4 and 8.7 ppg as well as 69, 34 and 33 triples.
Five other players on the team have stroked 20 or more trifectas besides the top trio.
What makes the team's motor go is not offense, but defense, and an all-out pursuit of offensive rebounds.
When the Lions are in their element, their success rate is at its peak when those vital signs are visible. Southwestern is one of the league's shortest teams, which they counter with a deeper bench.
For complete team and player statistics, go to www.redriverconference.com.
Two of SAGU's all-time greatest players in Gibson and Horne will be introduced at a regular-season home game for the last time tonight. Gibson was #2 in the NAIA in three-pointers (103) as a junior, while Horne scored more points (23.5 ppg) than anyone in the NAIA last year.