SAGU thumps Arlington Baptist, 92-65
Big plays, 11 threes are highlights
Lions improve to 5-1, begin RRAC season next
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The after-effects of Saturday’s near-win over #8 ranked Westmont College were gone like Thanksgiving leftovers.
#26 ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 5-1, wasted little time Monday night in pasting Arlington Baptist College, 92-65, at the Sheaffer Center.
The triumph gave Head Coach Donnie Bostwick time to play reserves, with 10 players receiving 10 or more minutes. All fifteen were on the court for at least six; only three played half the game.
He was able to empty the bench when the Lions built a 30-point lead with nine minutes remaining.
It was the team’s final non-conference game before the start of the Red River Athletic Conference season, which begins on Thursday.
Teams will play each of the twelve members twice during a 22-game league season. SAGU finished in fourth place last winter, just missing the NAIA national tournament.
The Lions backcourt starred in the first half as the Jungle Kings roared to a 42-26 advantage at the break.
Junior Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School) darted inside for a layup and a 10-6 lead.
James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy), who missed the Westmont game, converted an old fashioned three-point play and wristed in a short jumper after latching onto an offensive rebound to extend the lead to 17-8.
The Patriots, who suffered their fourth consecutive loss, fell to 2-4.
Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) swiped the ball and went end-to-end for a layup and Rambo fired a rainbow 3-ball after Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / Parkview HS) passed to him from inside the paint.
Gentry tallied again from directly under the hoop. He reeled in an offensive carom with his right hand, and then leapt to score on a left-handed layup for a 25-11 margin.
His dime to Rambo on the baseline was deposited from the corner with a three-point exchange rate.
A pair of steals, first by Rambo, then by Justas Norvilas (Taurage, Lithuania / Versmes) each were converted into breakaway scores. A trifecta by Devante Dunn (Wills Point, Tx / Wills Point HS) ended the half with the game’s outcome resting in the hands of the host.
SAGU outscores Patriots, 50-39 in second half
The Lions scored 11 unanswered points for a 53-27 lead, highlighted by Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) rejecting a shot, then sinking a turn-around jumper from 15-feet after catching a pass from Rambo.
Rambo assisted on two treys; by Gentry in the left crook and by Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) on the wing.
A circus shot by Ford, who seemed suspended in the air on a fastbreak, making an underhanded flip shot once defenders had passed by. At 58-29, the Lions were in command.
Down the stretch several rotation players brought the crowd to their feet with rousing finishes.
Six-foot-8 inch freshman Ryan Alford (Dayton, Tx / Dayton HS) was on the receiving end of a pass from Dunn, who had driven in from the opposite baseline. Alford skied for a dunk.
Brandon Nelson (Kingwood, Tx / Kingwood HS) raced in for a layup on the left side to push the lead to 75-42.
What really ignited Lion-Nation were five baskets in the closing minutes.
Clayton O’Neill (Halletsville, Tx / Halletsville HS) detonated back-to-back 3-bombs, both on passes from Adam Martinez (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS). The second came from a sharp angle, with the ball softly kissing the glass before dropping through the cylinder.
He (O'Neill) responded by passing up a shot from the corner to fire a dart to Mo Oglesby (Arlington, Tx / Zion Academy), who was open on the right. The animated Mo “O” launched a triple that prompted his teammates on the bench to liftoff.
Martinez gunned his own three-ball from the wing, and junior Ben Starks (Austin, Tx / Southeastern CC [Neb]) bucketed a putback to give SAGU a 92-62 lead in the closing seconds.
Teams and Player Statistics
SAGU made 41% of their shots in each half. Meanwhile, they ruled the boards, 50-34, including 19 on the offensive end.
The Lions finished with a 34-18 led in field goals, with 11 coming from beyond the arc.
Arlington aided their cause by drawing 37 free throws on the road. They were credited with 24 makes. SAGU was 13 of 21 from the charity stripe.
Rambo led the Purple Pride in points with 19, with Gentry and Walter netting 10 apiece. Adoyi was tops with nine rebounds.
Raphael Garcia and Carlton Pride led the Patriots with 14 and 12 points respectively.
The triumph gives SAGU a 2-0 lead in the series, which began with an 89-57 win last season.
On the road Thursday, at home on Saturday
The Lions have two conference games on tap for later this week. On Thursday they will be in Austin to tangle with Huston-Tillotson University.
The Rams are 1-4, though their record is deceiving. Two setbacks have been by two and four points, while their most recent game was an 80-73 home victory over Wayland Baptist University (4-4).
This Saturday, December 1, SAGU will entertain Jarvis Christian College at 4:00pm.