Lions go cold in the Rockies, 87-80
SAGU still receives bid to Nationals
Rambo leads all scorers with 29 points
LAKEWOOD, Colorado -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men's basketball team dug an early 15-point hole and couldn't escape the physical play of Dallas Baptist University in an 87-80 setback in the finals of the Central Regional on Friday night.
The Lions made only nine turnovers and forced 26, but failed to capitalize. Southwestern missed half of their 32 free throw attempts and the three-point shot, a staple in their diet, failed to find its rythm.
SAGU fired 43 from beyond the arc and ripped the nets only ten times (23%), which was colder than the 34 degrees outside the Events Center.
Trailing 70-55, the Lions mounted a comeback that drew to within a basket with one minute to go. Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) tipped in his own miss following a steal.
Southwestern had cut their deficit to 80-78. The Patriots clinched the game by making five of eight free throws to hold off the Lions.
After Dallas Baptist split a pair on the foul line at 0:54, SAGU missed a three-pointer and two foul shots before a layup by T.J. Clark lifted their lead to 83-78. Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School) netted two from the charity stripe and the Lions were within three with 0:41 remaining.
They missed their next two treys and the Patriots put the game on ice from the foul line.
Rambo led all scorers with 29 points. He canned 9-of-19 shots, 2-of-10 threes and 9-of-14 free throws.
The Lions were called for a season high 36 fouls, which DBU converted into 41-of-52 free throws.
Nick Fox dominated the game for the Pats, scoring 21 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 junior forward enjoyed a homecoming of sorts. DBU's leading scorer (15.7 ppg) is from Colorado Springs, a ninety-minute drive from Denver.
DBU controlled the glass, 54-40, though the Lions held a 16-11 edge on offensive caroms. It allowed Team Purp to have a 78-49 margin in shots attempted. For the game the Patriots (18-13) made 43% of their shots compared to SAGU's 35%.
The team has received an invitation to play at next week's NCCAA Nationals with an at-large berth. Eight teams will compete for the championship during March 14-17 at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
An official word as to whether the Lions will accept the offer will be announced soon.
A detailed review of the game will be posted overnight.