Inside and Out: Lions Top Langston
Gibson, Bosko star during 76-66 triumph
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University turned Langston University inside-out on Saturday night. But it wasn't until they turned to the simplest of defenses could they claim a 76-66 home triumph.
SAGU (5-10, 3-7 Red River) and Langston (1-14, 1-9) were tied at the half, 40-40, even though the home team was shooting 66% from the field. They couldn't keep Langston off the offensive glass, where they had 10 rebounds in the opening twenty minutes.
Head Coach Jerry Boone, shorthanded on the baseline with the absence of two rebounders, switched to a 2-1-2 zone defense to begin the second half. Voila! Mixing in a variety of combinations to add wrinkles to the zone, Boone's scheme had uncommon success. SAGU shut Langston down, limiting them to 5-of-32 (16%) shooting.
The Purple Pride opened the second stanza with back-to-back three-pointers by Peter Dutton (Houston, Tx / Booker T. Washington HS) and Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Waco HS) and never relinquished the lead. When the pair ripped the nets for triples again, SAGU had extended their lead to 61-51 with 11:12 remaining.
Langston regrouped and had momentum, thanks to a 3-point play by Shelby Coursey and trifecta off the hands of Tony Hodnett. Trailing 65-61, Eric Harris intercepted a Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) pass at the timeline. Cruising in for a tomahawk slam, Harris' shot clanked off the rim, prompting jeers by the SAGU crowd. The momentum shift was emotional and seemingly tangible.
Still, Langston rallied to within 65-63 following a pair of free throws by Calen Parks at the 7:55 mark. The Blue Cats had every opportunity to seize control of the lead over the next four minutes. But SAGU snuffed out five straight shots; one of them blocked by Bosko Ognenovski (Bitola, Macedonia), and forced a turnover to stifle their bid for a comeback.
"We had our chances," said Greg Webb, now in his 11th year as Head Coach at Langston. "The missed dunk seemed to be the turning point. We just couldn't make a big shot when we needed it, but we were right there at the end. We're a young club and we're building. There's a lot to like, even when the results don't finish with a win."
Gibson Dagger Tres Magnifique
With the outcome in peril, Southwestern's 6'3 junior Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) removed all doubt. Sporting a combat-hawk, the guard swished a 15-foot jumper in transition with 3:46 to go, boosting SAGU's advantage to 68-63. He added the knockout punch with a three-point dagger at 2:23 for a 72-63 scoreboard bulge.
The Purple Lions iced the game in the game's next sequence. Anthony Jones, a 6'7 forward, had his inside shot blocked by Ognenovski, his fifth of the night. He grabbed the rebound and flipped an outlet pass to Dutton (pictured above, on the wing, wearing #32). Racing, okay, lugging downcourt, Bosko retrieved a Dutton miss and powered in a layup for an 11-point lead.
Player of the Game: Bosko Ognenovski
Ognenovski was the player of the game for Southwestern. Averaging less than fifteen minutes of playing time per game, he was pressed into extended action on Saturday. Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Connally HS) was tending to an urgent family health issue, and James Southerland (Macomb, Ill / Macomb HS) ruled out for 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Ward is the leading rebounder in the nation.
Bosko scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and ripped down 11 rebounds, six on offense. He also jammed a pair on monster dunks, much to the delight of an appreciative home crowd.
Combined with Gabriel Clark (Modesto, Ca / Modesto HS), who also grabbed 11 boards and swatted five shots, SAGU had a 42-41 edge in rebounds. It was just the fourth time all season they outrebounded the opposition. Dutton added five caroms.
Throughout much of the game, SAGU's 1-2 punch was Gibson from the outside and Bosko on the inside. Gibson was overdue.
In his five league games in January he was shooting just 36%, getting ten shots per game. Saturday he scorched LU, making them pay for their physical approach to defending Horne.
Southwestern Player Totes
Gibson (shown in the top photo) drained eight of nine shots, including 4-of-5 from downtown. Coach Boone could ill-afford to sit the player known for his all-out playing style. He was a perfect 5-for-5 in the first half, nailing a trio of triples from well beyond NBA range. His 21 points were a game high.
Horne finished with 16 points during a very steady showing. He drilled three treys and dished out five assists while leading the defensive charge with three steals.
Dutton, who made 3-of-5 threes, totaled 11 points, with Grigsby netting eight points. The host Lions also received a good contribution from Nnamdi Agbaroji (Houston, Tx / Westbury HS), with two points, three boards and one rejection in eight minutes.
Langston was led in scoring by Harris, with 17. Parks, Jones and Paul Campbell each accounted for nine points for LU. Curtis Thompson, the Lions leading point producer entering the game (15.3 ppg), was held to six on 1-of-9 shooting. They stayed in the agem by yielding only nine turnovers. They forced 16 by SAGU.
Southwestern was good on 10-of-16 shots outside the arc, compared to Langston's 5-of-22 effort. SAGU finished the game with a 54% shooting effort and stifled the visitors, who could make just 28% on the night.
On Tap: Bacone College on Monday
SAGU returns to the court on Monday, January 27. They will host Oklahoma's Bacone College (9-8, 4-6 Red River), who dropped a 57-55 decision at Paul Quinn College (12-6, 7-3) on Saturday. The game will be broadcast in HD by video streaming on SAGU Sports Live at 7:30pm. The pre-game show will follow the women's game between the two schools.
The Warriors are currently in eighth place in the Red River. A win for SAGU would move them into a tie with BC and position the Lions to make a run for a berth in the RRAC tournament.