Cold-shooting hinders SAGU

Team awaits NAIA tourney itinerary 

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Unable to match their offensive touch from two days prior, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team came up short, 67-51, to the University of St. Thomas in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament final on Monday evening.

The setback dropped the Lions to 29-4 on the season. Their previous best record was 27-7 in the 1980's on a team coached by Terry Bryan.

A year ago SAGU experienced the nation's largest turnaround, rising from 12-21 to 27-11.

The game saw the lead change hands on six occasions, all before intermission. The Celts moved ahead late in the first half and were never seriously threatened thereafter.

St. Thomas, now 28-5 overall, finished on a 10-1 run to take a 32-28 advantage into the locker room. From just right of the top of the key, Deric Dudley caught a pass from Travis Lampley and fired a three-pointer at the buzzer for a huge momentum boost.

When Lampley scored to complete a 10-2 burst, the Celts were in command at 44-34 with 14:05 to play. The closest the Lions came the rest of the way was eight points.

Game Review

Playing in front of their largest crowd of the season inside a packed Sheaffer Center, the Lions connected on two quick three-point baskets by junior guards Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Okla. Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) and Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Ok. Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School) for an 8-4 lead.

After the Celts responded with ten unanswered points, the teams wrestled with the lead.

Trailing 17-11, the Lions assembled their best stretch of play of the night.

Rambo netted a mid-range shot a moment before an inbounds play that was as well executed as it was fast. Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) was near the sideline, having received a pass.

The 6’5 senior looked to his left and whipped the ball to Jon Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS), who was cutting along the far baseline towards Ward. He caught the ball on the low block, and then pivoted around a defender for a layup.

SAGU then drained four straight long-balls, three of them by the left-handed Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian).

From the high post, Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / Parkview HS) spotted Guidry at the top of the key. The sophomore stopped and popped a trey.

A moment later, following Adoyi’s (pronounced like ‘a boy’) rejection of a Lampley shot in the lane, Guidry completed a pass to Walter on the left wing. His trifecta was smooth and true for a 21-20 lead.

Caleb Williams got inside for a score for the Celts, then Guidry unloaded back-to-back jacks, the first from the right side, the second from the left on a dish from James Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy).

SAGU led 27-22 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.

St. Thomas called a timeout to adjust their defense, and, evidently, vice-grips were involved. The Lions would not score another basket until the second half.

The red-clad visitors replied with seven points; a reverse layup by forward Brian Kaase (KAH-see), a drive by Lampley and a Kaase baseline jumper for the lead, 29-27. That set the stage for Dudley's aforementioned, buzzer-beating triple.

Second Half Revisited

The Celts stepped up their man-to-man defense, which switched to double-teams in the lane, proving as effective as the Lions shooters were cold.

With a home crowd pleading for transition to a higher gear, SAGU missed or rushed many open shots, even while remaining within proximity of the lead.

St. Thomas, led by Lampley, the nation’s leader in assists, and the constricting of Dudley’s defense on Lion guards, maintained an eight-to-twelve point lead until pulling away in the closing minutes.

Trying to rouse a rally, Walter knocked down two shots; the latter a triple from the corner on a Rambo pass, SAGU trailed 57-48.

While officials only called seven fouls against the guests the entire game, two charging calls on SAGU were especially critical.

Rambo pierced the defense and layed the ball off for a basket, only to have Dudley draw the charge on a questionable whistle. Ward was cited for a similar citation on a drive along the line two minutes later.

Dudley answered with a wrap-around pass to Williams and Kaase sank an outside jumper to keep the regular-season champions at bay.

SAGU’s last score was a Rambo 3-ball from the left crook to cut the deficit to 61-51. UST salted away the victory from the foul line.

The win was sweet for the Celts, who lost a pair of tough decisions to SAGU earlier this year, 78-73 in Waxahachie, and 53-48 in Houston.

Coach Bostwick's post-game comments

“I tip my hat to St. Thomas,” acknowledged SAGU Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. “They have a terrific team and a great coach (Todd Smith).”

“Coming here, against our crowd, and winning is an impressive accomplishment.”

“In my opinion, when our guys won in Houston (February 9),” he added, “that was the deciding game that won the conference regular season title. I felt that was an equally amazing accomplishment.”

St. Thomas made 26-of-55 (47%) of their shots on Monday while limiting the Lions to 19-of-68 (28%) accuracy.

“They (St. Thomas) were just a little more focused and shot it better tonight,” Bostwick continued. “We could not even hit an ‘open look’ tonight.”

“They kept us off the glass as well,” he said of the Celts’ 36-33 rebounding edge.

“They came into the tournament knowing they had to make the final to get to KC (site of the NAIA’s 32-team national tournament). That focus carried over to tonight.”

“St. Thomas took away our easy baskets and we will learn from this. It won't happen again this season,” Bostwick pointed out. “I believe this will make us stronger and may just give us our chance to do something special in KC.”

UST Head Coach Todd Smith:

As for the victorious Celts’ coach Smith, “We wanted to come out and score early, because SAGU plays defense so well. When we got a few shots to fall (leading 14-8), it really allowed us to relax.”

“On the other end (on defense), we wanted to make them shoot contested threes and jumpshots.”

The fourth year Head Coach spoke of how much it benefitted his team to hold their own on the boards, “since we’re not that big,” and gave props to Dudley for his exceptional defense against ballhandlers.

Statistically speaking

While Williams led the Celts in scoring with 16 points, it was the play of Lampley, their point guard and floor leader that was most commendable.

He scored 12 points, distributed eight assists and grabbed eight rebounds. The senior logged all forty minutes of playing time and made just three turnovers.

Adrian Morales, who had struggled in the previous games against SAGU (2-of-13 from the field, 1-of-10 beyond the arc), swished three triples while netting 13 points. Dudley was credited with a dozen points.

SAGU was paced by Walter and Rambo, who accounted for 17 and 15 points respectively. The rest of the team made just seven of thirty-one shots.

The Lions were led in rebounds by Gentry and Adoyi with eight and seven boards. SAGU managed an 11-6 margin in offensive rebounds.

Free throws were in small quantity on Monday, with St. Thomas stroking 9-of-11 compared to the Lions 3-of-5. Much of that was due to SAGU’s outside shot location.

A month ago during Lions’ 53-48 road triumph against St. Thomas, they were restricted to 26% shooting. They won by rallying late on the strength of dominating the boards, clutch foul-shooting and by holding the Celts to 31% from the field.

During the post-game tradition of cutting down the nets, an appreciative home fan base chanted of their Jungle Kings, “We still champs.”

True. But on this night in the tournament championship, the Celts were worthy wearers of the crown.

Tournament's Selection Show on Wednesday

Both teams have secured a berth in next week's NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Tourney pairings and the schedule will be announced on Wednesday night at 7:00pm at www.naia.org

SAGU will provide detailed coverage of the team's actions in KC.

Contact: Mark "Link" Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.
 

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Jan 12, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

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Jan 11, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

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Jan 08, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

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Rambo garners National Player of the Week award

Rambo garners National Player of the Week award

Jan 07, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

Coach Bostwick explains individual honor is for the team Link to NAIA official announcement:  http://www.naia.org/  View Highlights vs. MACU (directions below) WAXAH...

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Rambo named SAC Player of the Week

Rambo named SAC Player of the Week

Jan 07, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

Senior point guard scored 40 and 32 points in two games Watch highlights of the win over MACU on Facebook WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  On the strength of averaging 36 points per ga...

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Lions place five in double-digits, win 79-66

Lions place five in double-digits, win 79-66

Jan 07, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

Back-to-back-to-back treys are one of three scoring runs Rambo, Walter, Feemster pace the Pride; SAGU plays Thursday at Rams Box Score, Standings links (below) BETHANY, Oklahoma &n...

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Lions cage high-scoring Evangels, 82-77

Lions cage high-scoring Evangels, 82-77

Jan 05, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU hands MACU first conference defeat Rambo, Feemster combine for 52 pts, defense forces 23 turnovers Photo Gallery, Box Score, Standings (links below) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- &nbs...

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Lions hold off MACU, 82-77, improve to 9-1

Lions hold off MACU, 82-77, improve to 9-1

Jan 05, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  No. 3 Southwestern Assemblies of God University overcame a quality opponent in nationally ranked Mid-America Christian University (Ok), 82-77, on Saturday evening i...

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SAGU hosts first-ever SAC games on Saturday

SAGU hosts first-ever SAC games on Saturday

Jan 04, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

MACU teams lead the SAC; men score 99 ppg Evangels rosters sprinkled with Texans; games aired in HD WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Playing Mid-America Christian University is not new for ...

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Lions corral Bison, 89-76

Lions corral Bison, 89-76

Jan 03, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

Rambo racks up 40, wins shootout with Woods Lions host front-running MACU on Saturday; game aired on SAGU TV Box Score, Play-by-Play, and Standings links below SHAWNEE, Oklahoma &...

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SAGU holds off OBU, 89-76; Rambo scores 40

SAGU holds off OBU, 89-76; Rambo scores 40

Jan 02, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma  --  In the first league game for Southwestern Assemblies of God University, behind the explosive play of Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Chr CH, Ok Wesleyan Univ&...

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Lions open league season Thursday at OBU

Lions open league season Thursday at OBU

Jan 02, 2014 - Men's Basketball News

Watch the match-up to SAC's top two teams in Coaches' Poll Game Day Preview / Video Coverage  (click here) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of the league season in th...

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SAGU holds off Patriots, 75-70, improve to 7-1

SAGU holds off Patriots, 75-70, improve to 7-1

Dec 17, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Walter erupts for career-best 30 points Bostwick also lauds play of Gentry, Gumwell Links Below:   Box Score, Photo Gallery from the game, Current Standings, Individual Player Sta...

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Lions close semester at home on Monday

Lions close semester at home on Monday

Dec 16, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Arlington Baptist (4-5) takes on No. 3 SAGU (6-1) Patriots' ability to limit outside shooters will be put to the test WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The first semester comes to an end...

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No. 3 Lions shake off rust in 74-49 triumph

No. 3 Lions shake off rust in 74-49 triumph

Dec 11, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU depth, defense wears down Tigers Feemster, Walter fuel offense; Mitchell blocks seven shots Box Score (at bottom of story) Current SAC Standings:   http://www.soonerathle...

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Lions rise to #3 in NAIA Coaches Poll

Lions rise to #3 in NAIA Coaches Poll

Dec 11, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU is tied with Pikeville College in third Columbia College (8-0), Georgetown College (9-1) are No. 1, No. 2 (Entire Poll posted below) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The first...

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Bostwick talks about being picked #2 in the SAC

Bostwick talks about being picked #2 in the SAC

Dec 08, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Lions Head Coach discusses fans and home games SAGU begins conference season the first week in January WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of Southwestern Assemblies of God Universit...

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SAGU has local road game on Tuesday

SAGU has local road game on Tuesday

Dec 08, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Catch the Lions, Lady Lions in S.E. Dallas Study Break for fans; SAGU has home game on Dec. 16 WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  While its finals week at Southwestern Assemblies of God Unive...

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SAC Coaches pick Lions to finish second

SAC Coaches pick Lions to finish second

Dec 05, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Oklahoma Baptist voted as the team beat SAGU hosts OBU on Jan. 4 in broadcast biggie WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The head coaches in the Sooner Athletic Conference picked Oklahoma Bapt...

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River Pilots steer past Lions, 84-75

River Pilots steer past Lions, 84-75

Nov 26, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU outscored 12-4 in final five minutes Conference season begin on Dec. 5 vs OKC Stars Box Score and Play By Play (links below) Next Coaches Top 25 Poll:  December 10 SH...

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No. 5 Lions take on #2 LSU-Shreveport tonight

No. 5 Lions take on #2 LSU-Shreveport tonight

Nov 25, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Fans can follow the game's play-by-play on-line Friendly rivals meet at 7pm on the Red River at The Dock SHREVEPORT, Louisiana  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God Universi...

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SAGU goes to 5-0, top Crusaders, 89-71

SAGU goes to 5-0, top Crusaders, 89-71

Nov 20, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Erskine pours in 23, Feemster has second double-double Next up for Lions; road trip to No. 2 LSU-Shreveport Current SAC Standings:   http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/4.php ...

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Follow Lions roar tonight on Twitter

Follow Lions roar tonight on Twitter

Nov 19, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU teams play at 6pm/8pm in Richardson Games will be rematches from November 5th doubleheader WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s an...

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Lions cage Tigers, 82-67; whip 13 three-pointers

Lions cage Tigers, 82-67; whip 13 three-pointers

Nov 15, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU off to 4-0 start for third straight year Gentry, Guidry, Mills, Feemster reach double-digits Box Score (link below) SAC Standings:   http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/4...

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SAGU entertains Paul Quinn tonight at 7:30pm

SAGU entertains Paul Quinn tonight at 7:30pm

Nov 14, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Men's hoopsters ranked No. 3 in NCCAA pre-season WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Ranked number 5 in the NAIA's Pre-Season Top 25 Coaches Poll, the Southwestern Assemblies of God Univer...

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Lions top No. 2 LSU-Shreveport, 83-72

Lions top No. 2 LSU-Shreveport, 83-72

Nov 12, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Erskine, defense propels No. 5 SAGU against Pilots O'Neill, Davis, Starks provide essential lift for Team Purp WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Sparked by a solid defensive effort, the ...

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#5 Lions host #2 LSU-Shreveport tonight at 7pm

#5 Lions host #2 LSU-Shreveport tonight at 7pm

Nov 12, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Teams almost met in last year's NAIA championship game Preview of Players to Watch WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Tonight’s clash between No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport and No. 5 r...

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SAGU tops McPherson in OT, 92-82

SAGU tops McPherson in OT, 92-82

Nov 11, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Gentry, Mills, Feemster lead Lions to 2-0 start On Deck: No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport on Tuesday Box Score  and SAC Standings (links below) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Dem...

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Gentry's infectious, "all out" energy drives Lions

Gentry's infectious, "all out" energy drives Lions

Nov 07, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Wood-surfing typifies desire of senior leader NEXT: SAGU plays host to McPherson College, Sat., 5:00pm SAC Standings:  http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/4.php  WAXAHACHIE...

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Snowstorm of threes lead Lions to 95-62 win

Nov 06, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

All ten players score, seven drain treys in SAGU debut Point Parade: Gentry 21, Mills 17, O'Neill 15, Feemster 13 WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  After a near-packed Sheaffer Center cr...

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Hoops season tips off to threat of snow

Hoops season tips off to threat of snow

Nov 05, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU is ranked #5 in NAIA Coaches Poll Lions play host to Dallas Christian on Tuesday night LiveStats link:   http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10 ...

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SAGU men's basketball roster announced

SAGU men's basketball roster announced

Nov 03, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Three starters will return, along with a deep cast Lions open the season at home on Tuesday at 8:00pm WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  In his first year as Head Coach at Southwestern Assemb...

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Men's Basketball adds two games

Men's Basketball adds two games

Oct 23, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

Lions to play home/away against Ecclesia College SAGU schedule now complete with 30 dates WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men's baske...

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Lions announce 28-game hoops itinerary

Lions announce 28-game hoops itinerary

Oct 03, 2013 - Men's Basketball News

SAGU schedule has early national match-up Final roster decisions forthcoming; three starters return WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’...

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