Flyin' Lions Soar to the Fab Four
SAGU holds off Montana Western, 84-79
Team builds 24-point lead, stymies Bulldogs rally
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team continued their climb towards the top of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with an 84-79 triumph over the University of Montana Western on Saturday afternoon.
By winning the quarterfinal against the no. 14 ranked Bulldogs, the Lions advance to Monday night’s Fab Four match-up against the winner between Lindsey Wilson College (Ky) (31-4) and MidAmerica Nazarene University (Ks) (26-9).
The semi-final game will aired nationally on ESPN3 at 6:00pm (CST) from Municipal Arena in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
CBS will air the national championship on Tuesday at 7:30pm.
Extending a 17-5 lead to 34-12 at the half, SAGU dominated Western in every phase of the game. In the first half the Bulldogs made just 4-of-27 shots (.148) against the Lions' top five defense.
Western came to life midway through the second half. Trailing by 55-35, Kris Collins fired in a trio of three-balls to get the ‘Dogs back in the game at 60-54 with 6:10 remaining.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Collins, who averages 7.4 points per game, connected on 7-of-12 shots from long distance. His previous season best was four triples and he entered the game having missed 23 of his previous 30 tries over seven games.
The Lions held off the frenzied comeback with 11 free throws in 14 attempts in the final 73 seconds. Western made four of their 12 second-half treys in the last two minutes, drawing to within 83-79 with six seconds on the clock. A free throw by SAGU closed the scoring.
Still, second year Head Coach Donnie Bostwick was able to get his entire bench into the game, though he had to re-insert the starters for the final ten seconds to secure the well-earned win.
SAGU received an outstanding performance from senior forward Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS). He provided critical baskets during a 9-0 Lions run to re-establish their lead at 73-59 with an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Trinity Christian School) with 1:59 to play.
Ward led all scorers with 24 points, making 9-of-14 shots, including a season-high four trifectas. His 15 rebounds also were the most on both teams and gave him a sweet double-double. The point and rebound totals were both his top effort this year.
Rambo tossed in 18, while Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) bucketed 11. Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / Parkview HS) grabbed 11 boards.
A detailed review of the game will be posted later tonight. It will include more action photos, the box score and quotes.
Click here for the article on the game from the NAIA website: http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=206718708
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