Sixteen is sweet for SAGU hoopsters
Lions rise to no. 16 in NAIA Coaches Poll
Always tough Wiley College awaits on Thursday
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Inching up ever higher as if to enjoy the view, the men’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University came in at no. 16 in Tuesday’s NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
A week ago the Lions reached their highest ascension yet at no. 17, picking up 142 voting points in the process. They had appeared at no. 21 and no. 28 in the previous polls in the 300-member National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
The team played a lone game last week, a 75-67 triumph over Jarvis Christian College, and still moved up a notch and garnered 156 points. They are just three points away from no. 14 and only twenty-eight separate them from no. 11.
SAGU, whose thrilling 77-71 comeback victory over no. 24 Texas College on Monday wasn’t included in the poll (it considers games through Sunday), is now 16-3 overall.
The Lions have eleven regular season dates remaining, eight of them at home.
Seven of those games are against squads with winning records, starting with a Thursday tangle with Wiley College (11-8, 6-6 in RRAC) at 5:30pm (CST). A livestats webcast will allow fans to follow the play-by-play, digitally.
Wiley has taken five of the past eight encounters. Last year the road team won the two games, by two and four points. This figures to be another highly contested battle.
Saturday’s schedule pits SAGU at home versus Bacone College at 5:00pm.
The Lions are currently the lone representative from the Red River Athletic Conference. Texas College failed to pick up any votes after rising to no. 10 earlier this month.
Cumberlands University (Ky), appearing at no. 25, was no. 1 two weeks ago. A precarious position among the ranked is often a slippery slope. After starting 12-0, they rose to 15-1. Four losses in a row has the Patriots at no. 5 in the Mid-South Conference.
LSU-Shreveport (13-4, 9-3 in RRAC) is at no. 26 while Houston’s University of St. Thomas (13-4, 8-3) is at no. 33.
Three other teams who have appeared in the polls this season; Our Lady of the Lake University (13-7, 10-3), Texas Wesleyan University (13-7, 8-6) and Wiley could return with a solid week and a win over a ranked team.
The Lions will move to the Sooner Athletic Conference next winter. The SAC has four teams in the Top 25.
Southwestern’s three setbacks all came at home, each to a team who were nationally ranked at the time; Westmont College, currently are at no. 6.
The Warriors (17-3) edged the Lions in overtime, 69-65, after sending the game into OT with a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
LSU-Shreveport and Texas College both handed SAGU double-digit losses.
Second year Head Coach Donnie Bostwick is leading the Lions towards the post-season. They should earn a berth in the RRAC tournament, March 1,2 and 4, which will be held on campus.
Receiving one of the NAIA’s 32 bids for the national tournament is their goal. That comes automatically to the regular season conference champion as well as the RRAC tournament champ.
Bostwick’s record, to date, at SAGU is 43-14 (.754).