Ford, Lions motor past Tabor, 69-61
SAGU wins at Kansas tournament
Ford, Gentry and Rambo lead team to 3-0 start
STERLING, Kansas -- Riding a hot start, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team defeated Tabor College (Ks), 69-61, to open the Sterling Classic on Friday afternoon.
The Lions, now 3-0, scored 13 straight points to vault in front, 16-3, a lead they never lost.
SAGU displayed a defense that held the Blue Jays to shooting .288 from the field. But the Lions could never put away the pesky Jays.
Tabor battled to a 52-52 standstill on the boards and committed only 11 turnovers in the game. The Lions were erratic at times and missing 14 of 32 free throws allowed the Blue Jays to stay in the game.
Tabor, 0-7, has now dropped five games by less than ten points. With 9:28 left, they trailed 57-45. They drew to within 65-61 with a 16-8 run, but missed their final four shots and a free throw.
The Lions iced the game by swishing four straight from the foul line to remain unbeaten.
Senior guard James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy) was smooth in the clutch.
He drained back-to-back three-pointers to give his team the 57-45 advantage. Then, when the Blue Birds came to within four, he knocked down a pair of free throws.
Ford finished with a game-high 21-points in less than 22 minutes. He connected on 7-of-11 shots, including four triples and 3-of-5 foul shots.
“Truck,” as he is called by teammates, motored efficiently, yielding only one turnover. He was credited with six rebounds and two steals.
Former backcourt mates at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS) and Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Christian School), netted 14 and 12 points, combining to make 8-of-24 shots (33%).
Gentry hit 5-of-6 from the charity stripe and Rambo accounted for five assists.
Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) continues to prove his wares.
The sophomore power forward netted nine points and 11 rebounds. He calmly stroked two free throws to give the Lions a 67-61 lead with 0:39 on the game clock. Ford then cashed in his pair twenty-two seconds later.
Coach summarizes victory
“It was a good road win after a long bus ride,” said second year Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. It is a 460-mile ‘far trek’ to the central Kansas town of Sterling.
“A lot of our young guys got minutes,” he continued. “With three games in four days, we need to have many guys contributing.”
“We kept building a lead only to relax a bit. They (Tabor) would get back in (the game). Playing on a neutral floor, and with no crowd, it’s challenging to stay focused.”
“Overall we played well on defense,” Bostwick summarized. “There is little to complain about when you hold your opponent under 30% in shooting. We grabbed 19 offensive boards but simply did not make our second-chance shots. Plus, we didn’t do well at keeping them off the defensive glass.”
The coach applauded the effort of Ford and Nwelue (pronounced like DWELL-way).
“James really stepped up and gave us senior leadership,” he pointed out. He was making shots and breaking momentum. Mike was a rebound away from another double-double.”
“Rambo struggled shooting but made key plays. Hondo played well at times as well.”
Southwestern will play the host, Sterling College, on Saturday night. The Warriors are 3-2 after defeating Johnson & Wales University, 77-61, on Friday.
Sterling came to Waxahachie a year ago for SAGU's "Texas Snowstorm." They fell just short in a 76-72 setback.