Lion hoopsters rise to no. 7 in NAIA
SAGU hosts huge game Thursday vs OLLU
Last home date set for Saturday at 4:00pm
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Rising to number 7 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Coaches Top 25 Poll would cause many to experience a version of “Seventh Heaven.”
But not Donnie Bostwick.
The second year Head Coach at Southwestern Assemblies of God University had the same response he has had with the release of each weekly poll.
“The polls are a lot of fun for fans,” he says. “The one I am interested in comes at the end of the season. How did you finish? Where did you finish?”
“We’ve still got work to do, and there are games to be played. Big games,” he added. “We’re getting there, but we’ve got a ways to go.”
Today’s press release from the NAIA’s eleven national raters moved SAGU up one spot to no. 7. The team eased past Westmont College (Cal), who were blown out last week by no. 6 Cal State – San Marcos, 95-58.
It was the Warriors second loss to Cougars (66-52 on Dec. 19) this season.
Westmont edged SAGU, 69-65, in overtime on November 25. They sent the game into OT with a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The no. 7 ranking is the highest ever for Southwestern. They remain one of two teams who have an unbeaten record (12-0) on the road.
No. 1 ranked Columbia College (Mo) is 28-0. Lee University (Tenn) is second with 25-1 ledger. John Brown University (Ark) remains at no.3 where the Golden Eagles have a 24-4 mark.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Lindsey Wilson College (Ky) at 24-3, and Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) at no. 5. The Warriors are 25-3.
Chad Waller, the NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information, posted the poll on-line. Click here to view it.
The Lions, now 24-3, have won 15 games in a row.
At 17-2 in the Red River Athletic Conference, SAGU has a two game lead on 19th ranked LSU-Shreveport (20-5, 15-4 in RRAC).
The two teams play on Monday in the regular season finale. Should the Lions win the conference championship, it would be only the second time in school history SAGU has won a league title in the NAIA.
In 2000 they earned the RRAC crown in Track & Field.
Three other teams from the RRAC received votes but didn’t make the Top 25; University of St. Thomas (21-6, 14-5 in RRAC) at no. 27, Our Lady of the Lake University (18-11, 14-7 in RRAC) at no. 33, and Texas College (19-8, 12-7 in RRAC) at no. 35.
Final Two Home Games: Thursday, Saturday
Thursday pits the Lions against OLLU at 7:30pm inside the Sheaffer Center. The first 100 fans will receive a pair of purple gloves - for the men's game. Prizes will be awarded for the most colorful outfits by fans on "Loud Purple" night.
The Saints are the nation’s highest scoring team (91.2 ppg). They also top the NAIA in three-point baskets per game, offensive rebounding as well as steals.
A large crowd is expected for the teams’ second meeting this season. SAGU edged the Halos in San Antonio, 77-70, in December.
The final home game of the season is Saturday, February 23, when Wiley College (15-12) visits for a 4:00pm tip-off.
SAGU hosts the RRAC Tourney
If the Lions win the RRAC title or the conference tournament, March 1-2, 4, they will receive an automatic berth in the NAIA’s 32-team tournament, March 13-19, in Kansas City.
SAGU Sports Live has announced they will broadcast only Lions/Lady Lions games during the tourney.
Southwestern is hosting two major events on campus that week, both of which are being aired on SAGU TV. This prevents the crew from handling the entire 14-game tourney.
NAIA Selection Show set for March 6
On March 6, the NAIA is providing a free live Selection Show with graphics to reveal the 32-team bracket for the 76th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship.
The men's bracket will be announced immediately after the women's at approximately 7:15 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.