Breakneck Lions Break 100
Horne Blasts for 40 points in win over Bacone
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Like dragsters with no parachutes and eighteen wheelers going downhill with no brakes. Monday night's men's college basketball game had everything but stops. Until the last two minutes.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Bacone College, desperate to qualify for the Red River Conference tournament, turned on the jets in a race to the century mark. SAGU snapped an 88-88 tie with several huge defensive plays to post a 100-92 triumph at the Sheaffer Full Life Center.
When asked about the determining factor in the highly entertaining thriller, veteran Lions head coach, Dr. Jerry Boone said it simply. "Stops. Our defense made the stops when we had to have them," he said following the offensive jailbreak.
Six-foot-eight sophomore center Gabe Clark (Modesto, Ca / Modesto HS) snuffed out two penetrating drives and came away with clutch rebounds, and freshman guard Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) made a critical steal to thwart Bacone scoring tries with the game up for grabs.
Knotted for the eleventh time, Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Connally HS) snared an offensive board and scored on a putback with 1:29 remaining for a lead the Lions never relinquished. Six seconds later, following a turnover, Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) delivered the goods with a layup and a 92-88 lead.
That's when Clark, the new transfer who has averaged over five blocked shots per game since joining the team three weeks ago, impeded a certain layup, then ripped down a rebound. His outlet pass resulted in a bucket by Ward with 1:02 to go.
Moments later Grigsby, a cat-quick guard and defensive ballhawk, stole the ball in the lane from James Scott, setting up clinching free throws by Gibson and Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Waco HS).
Horne added another pair from the charity stripe with 0:21 on the game clock to reach the 100-point mark, much to the delight of the SAGU Crew (fans).
Horne's Cornucopia of Points
The finishing touches on the Lions' third win in four games by Horne was most appropriate. The junior guard was on fire from the start. He was truly the horn of plenty, scoring in a cornucopia of ways.
The playmaker slashed and dashed, hit mid-range jumpers, soared for a dunk and stroked 11-of-13 foul shots. He also rang-up five trifectas in the process! When the last free throw ripped the net, it capped a 40-point performance!
Horne got off to a torrid start. He delivered nine baskets in just eleven shots during a first half that saw him pile up 25 points as the Lions built a 54-49 scoreboard bulge.
Who Holds the SAGU Scoring Record?
While the outburst was his career best in college, it was short of the Southwestern record of 50. That mark belong to a pair of past players, one who was in the house. Robbie Shay, the present head coach of the Bacone College Lady Warriors, reached the cardinal number in 1997 against Hillsdale College. Also, a year later, Alonzo Harrison hit fifty in a game against Fall.
Cat's Stats: Duce Retains NAIA Lead in Rebounds
Gibson, who drained three triples during a 54-point first half, registered 19 points and racked up four assists. Ward tossed in 17 and grabbed eight rebounds. It was his first non-double-digit effort on the boards this season. Even still, he remains the NAIA national leader, averaging 12.8 caroms per outing.
Bosko Ognenovski (Bitola, Macedonia / State Fair Community College) added eight points, and Clark bagged ten boards.
The Warriors were paced by Chad Tyler, who poured in 31 points. He canned 9-of-17 shots. Jeff Ayisire accounted for 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Dallas Juniel registered seven assists.
Southwestern made 52% of their 63 shots, and stroked 26-of-29 of their free throw attempts. Bacone shot 51% from the field and connected on 21-of-24 singles at the stripe.
The two teams protected the ball well, as SAGU had just 10 turnovers compared to a dozen by BC. The difference may have been the battle to control the boards, where the host Lions owned a 37-29 margin, including a 12-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Back in Action on Thursday
Southwestern returns to the court on Thursday, January 27, when they play host to Dallas' Paul Quinn College. The Tigers are currently in third place in the RRAC with an 8-3 mark. They are 13-6 overall. Tip-off is slated for 7:30pm.
The game will be broadcast in HD on SAGU SPORTS Live. Video streaming starts with a 5:20pm pre-game show prior to the Lady Lions game at 5:30. Access the game on computers, laptops and iPhones at the SAGU website under Athletics.
This Saturday the Lions play University of the Southwest at 4:00pm MST. The game will be played 365 miles west in Hobbs, New Mexico. The Mustangs are 8-10 in all games and 3-8 in the Red River.
Next Monday, Jan. 31, is another huge clash when Texas Wesleyan University visits the FLC at 7:30pm. The rivals Rams (17-2, 10-1 RRAC) are tied with LSU-Shreveport (17-1, 10-1) atop the league standings.