Heavyweights collide in San Antonio
SAGU takes on OLLU in men's hoops
Watch game via livestream video or LiveStats
Livestream Video and LiveStats provided (links below)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- When Southwestern Assemblies of God University meets Our Lady of the Lake University on Thursday night, the Lions will be on a mission in the city made famous for the battle at the Alamo Mission.
The no. 21 ranked Lions (12-3, 7-2 in RRAC) and the defending Red River Athletic Conference champion Saints (8-6, 6-2) will tip it off at 7:30pm in a game that fans can follow on-line via DakStats. The link is posted at the bottom of this story.
There remains the possibility the game will be livestreamed. Should video access be available the link or directions will be posted here on Thursday.
A complete report on the game, along with action photos and the box score, will be displayed here following the game.
The quest for the Lions will be to limit the prolific scoring machine that is OLLU.
The hosts hold a 6-1 edge in the series, including 3-0 in San Antone. A year ago they handed the Purple Pride their worst setback of the season, 98-79.
The Lions’ lone win in the three year series was in the Sheaffer Center last winter. In routing the Halos, 106-80, they gave them their largest defeat of the year.
In the semi-finals of the RRAC tournament, however, Our Lady outlasted the Lions by a 112-109 count.
(Key stats from the last year's three meetings are listed below)
The two previous visits to OLLU saw the Lions fall 116-99 in 2011 and 104-95, in overtime, in 2010.
Breaking down each team's strengths
Leaving town with a first-ever win over the Saints will require a focused 40-minutes by the Lions. Their defense must be able to keep the Saints from their regular offensive production.
OLLU has the #4 scoring unit in the NAIA. Pouring in 91.9 ppg, they break games open by cashing in 12.6 threes per game, the most in the nation, as well as ripping down 18.7 offensive boards per night. That, too, tops the country.
Southwestern puts 75.7 ppg on the scoreboard, which rates #46. They too excel on the offensive glass; 15.6 orpg (#5) and, when it comes to triples, produce 7.5 makes (#23) per outing.
The advantages that SAGU has are on defense. They allow 68.8 ppg, the 32nd best in the NAIA. Opponents make .383 percent of their shots and only .319 from beyond the arc.
Our Lady’s defense permits 87.9 ppg. Only two teams allow more. Opposing shooters have a .503 accuracy.
Getting into a point-fest with Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham’s ballclub is rarely successful, and holding them down is also a chore. The Saints have reached 80 points or more in 11 of their 14 games.
Their losses have come to: Rogers State University (12-4 record), Lubbock Christian University (9-6) twice, Briar Cliff University (Iowa) (15-5), Texas Wesleyan University (11-5) and LSU-Shreveport (9-4) on Monday, 95-91.
Should the game come down to free throws, SAGU owns a slight edge; .670 to .661. The Lions average 23.4 attempts compared to the Saints 21.0.
In terms of personal fouls per game, OLLU is cited for 26.6, the most in the NAIA, while SAGU gets whistled 20.9 times, the 15th most.
The RRAC, however, hears the shrill of official’s whistles more than any other conference.
Seven teams in the Top 15 with the most fouls are from the Red River. In fact, five of the top six teams called for the most violations play in the RRAC. A year ago there were five RRAC teams among the top fourteen.
Saints and Lions' impact players
Our Lady is powered by a trio of senior guards; Robert Martinez, Lo’Ron Smith and Eddie Ortiz. They score 19.8, 19.5 and 10.0 ppg respectively.
They light it up from downtown! Martinez leads with 62 trifectas and a sizzling .492 percentage. Ortiz has 42 and Smith another 37.
OLLU has three players scoring eight points per game, but the man who punches the accelerator is 5’9 point guard Marcus Thompson.
The junior from Garland High School has racked up an average of 7.5 assists and 3.6 steals, which ranks him and second and first in the RRAC in those categories.
SAGU also has three players scoring in double digits; Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School) at 16.9, James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy) 11.2 and Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) at 11.1 ppg. The latter paces the Lions in rebounds, snatching 7.3 per game.
Rambo, Ford and Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Okla. Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) have stroked 28, 24 and 17 treys.
Devante Dunn (Wills Point, Tx / Wills Point HS) is the most effective from long distance. The freshman is successful on 40% of his tries.
The individual dual between OLLU's Thompson and the Lions' Rambo could be the X-factor. Whoever involves their playmaking teammates by distributing the ball the most could spell the difference.
The match-up between the conference powers has the potential to be a classic or, when one team has it going, a blowout.
SAGU will return to campus late Thursday night. They will play Paul Quinn College (7-4) at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon in southeast Dallas.
The Lions next home game is on Saturday night, Jan. 26, when Bacone College visits the Sheaffer Center.
Livestream Video will also be provided. Go to the OLLU Athletics website and click on Men's Basketball. They will 'stream' both the women's and men's games. http://www.ollusaintsathletics.com/sport/0/11.php
Tale of the Tape
SAGU: PPG 75.7. FG % .399, Three-Point Pct .300, FT% .670. Rebounds per game: 42.0. Offensive Rebounds per game: 15.5. Threes Made per game: 7.5. Defense PPG allowed 68.8. Opp. FG% .383, Three-Pt Pct .319. Opp. Rebs per game: 34.0.
OLLU: PPG 91.9. FG% .419, Three-Pt Pct .387, FT% .661. Rebs per game: 40.4. Offensive Rebs per game: 18.7. Three Made per game: 12.6. Defense PPG allowed: 87.9. Opp. FG% .503, Three-Pt Pct .404. Opp. Rebs per game: 40.9.
Series: OLLU leads 6-1; 3-0 in San Antonio, 3-1 in Waxahachie. Average points: OLLU 102.7, SAGU 95.4
Last Year's Three Meetings
Game One: OLLU 98-79 in San Antonio.
Key Stats: SAGU 9 threes and 8-of-28 FT's. OLLU 12 threes and 34-of-49 FT's. Rebounds: SAGU 14 (offensive), 47 (total). OLLU 16-58.
Game Two: SAGU 106-80 in Waxahachie.
Key Stats: SAGU shot 53% from the field, including 15 threes. Lions were 25-of-31 in FT's. OLLU sank 13 threes and 21-of-27 FT's. Rebounds: SAGU 14-45, OLLU 13-30.
Game Three: OLLU 112-109 at SAGU in RRAC semi-final.
Key Stats: SAGU made 53% of their shots and 13 threes. They were 26-of-35 FT's. OLLU shot 49% and hit 12 threes and 28-of-42 FT's. Rebounds: SAGU 14-39, OLLU 16-42.