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SAGU jumps from no. 13 up to no. 8

Next: Paul Quinn College at home on Saturday

ROARING LIONS: Climbing inside the Top 10 for the first time are the SAGU Lions. Photo by Buddy Briggs.WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The ascension continues for the men’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The Lions have built a 23-3 overall record and lead the Red River Athletic Conference with a 17-2 mark.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released the results of this week’s Top 25 Coaches Poll this afternoon. The Lions, riding a 14-game winning streak, jumped ahead to no. 8. 

They were at no. 13 last week and no. 14 the previous week.

Click here for the NAIA Press Release

SAGU went 3-0 last week, routing the University of the Southwest (4-20), 102-70, on Monday, and then rolled past Huston-Tillotson University (6-20) on Thursday with a 78-64 verdict.

Click here for video highlights from a recent game.  

Saturday witnessed one of the team’s biggest wins, a 53-48 defensive struggle against the University of St. Thomas in Houston. 

The still-ranked Celts (19-6) had the league’s best home record and the Lions, now at 13-0, were unbeaten on the road.

The Lions were down, 40-33, before rising to win it on the strength of clutch play by Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) and offensive rebounding.

Head Coach Donnie Bostwick, now 50-14 at the helm, gave the team took two days off for the Mid-Winter Break. They now AT THE HELM: Coach Donnie Bostwick led the Lions to a 27-11 mark a year ago, the largest turnaround in college basketball. They defeated The Master's College and Hope International (both from Cal) to finish third. resume practices in preparation for the stretch drive of the season.

The Purple Pride has a solo game this week. (the Lady Lions play next on Feb. 18)

Saturday, February 16, SAGU will entertain Dallas’ Paul Quinn College (10-14) in a 4:00pm matinee inside the Sheaffer Center.

The game will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live. The pre-game show will air at approximately 3:45pm (CST).

Paul Quinn gave the Lions a tough challenge in early January. The team nearly lost a double-digit lead of 34-19.

Seniors James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy) and Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) sparked the first half surge.

The Tigers pulled to within 46-44 before SAGU’s defense held them to one basket in 7+ minutes.

Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) drew a charging call to ignite Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School). Rambo caught fire following a 3-ball, making three consecutive steals during a 16-4 run that led to a 67-55 triumph.

Next Week's Final Home Games

The Lions will have a major date next week when Our Lady of the Lady University (17-10) visits town on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Two days later, Feb. 23, Wiley College (14-11) comes to the Sheaffer Center. The Wildcats were one of three teams to top the Lions at home in 2012

SAGU will recognize seniors Ford and Ward prior to the 4:00pm game.

The regular season ends on Monday, Feb. 25, with a showdown at no. 20 LSU-Shreveport (18-5). The Pilots are the last team to defeat the Lions.

The Top 6 teams in the poll remained unchanged. SAGU is two spots behind Calfornia's Westmont College (21-4). The Warriors handed the Lions a 69-65 overtime loss in November.

Team Purple played without their two seniors, Ford and Ward, in that game. Westmont sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Post-Season Possiblities

SAGU will be one of eight teams who qualify for the Red River Athletic Conference tournament during March 1, 2 and 4.

The RRAC’s regular season champion and the tournament champ each receive a bid for the NAIA’s national, 32-team tourney.

The field, including pairings, will be announced during a special NAIA Selection Show on-line on March 6.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

BANNER ACCOMPLISHMENT: The Facebook fan page at SAGU Sports Live posted this banner. Visit there for regular video highlights and headlines.