Hardpressed for a Win: Lions Fall 97-73
Our Lady of the Lake rolls, thanks to 28 turnovers
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University, with three players scoring 17 or more points and two racking up 11 rebounds, found it was not enough to catch up to a fast-starting Our Lady of the Lake University on Monday night in men's basketball. Flying out of the gate to a 22-9 lead, the Saints stormed to take a 97-73 win over the host Lions.
SAGU's record fell to 4-10 for the season and 2-7 in the Red River Athletic Conference. They are now tied for tenth with the University of the Southwest (7-9, 2-7), whom the Lions defeated last month. OLLU improved to 10-6 in all games and are tied for fourth with Paul Quinn College (11-6, 6-3) with a 6-3 league mark.
The Saints, looking quick and hungry, employed a pressing game that separated the Lions from possession of the ball 28 times. Together with yielding 14 offensive rebounds to Our Lady, the Lions had little chance to prosper. OLLU had an 83-52 advantage in field goals attempted.
Assistant Coach Speak: Gerren Hamilton
"We didn't play well under pressure," said Assistant Coach Gerren Hamilton. "We need to maintain our poise when things aren't going our way. We need to learn to execute better under pressure. When we do that, you'll see the difference in our wins and losses."
Southwestern led early, 5-4, on an offensive putback by Gabe Clark (Modesto, Ca / Modesto HS) and a Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Waco HS) three-point basket. Four turnovers and three charging fouls pushed the Saints on top 18-8 (13:46 left).
Moments later, sophomore guard Robert Martinez fired a triple and the game was turning into a rout at 31-10 after ten minutes of play. By the end of the first half the Saints built a commanding 50-29 lead and the Lions had made 16 turnovers.
Our Lady quashed any comeback hopes with a 15-7 start after intermission. The clubs traded scores throughout the second half with both benches playing numerous reserves in the process.
Player and Team Totes
Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) led the Lions with 19 points, hitting 6-of-11 shots, including four of six beyond the three-point line. Horne netted 18, while Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Connally HS) bucketed 17 and pulled down 11 boards. Clark equaled Ward on the boards, with 11, and blocked eight shots for the second consecutive game.
Point guard Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS) accounted for seven points. Ryan Russ (Cordell, Ok / Cordell HS) came off the bench to finish third in caroms with four and scored five points. Ryan Russell (Justin, Tx / Northwest HS) added four points.
SAGU made 38% of their shots but didn't help themselves by missing 13 of 38 free throws. They competed well on the defensive boards, and were outrebounded by just a 45-41 count.
Marco Cooper had a stellar effort for OLLU. The 6-foot-7 forward from the Bahamas poured in 23 points, making 10-of-17 shots as well as grabbing 10 boards. Martinez bagged 22 points with four triples.
Langston on Deck for SAGU
The Lions must recover quickly. They host Langston University this Saturday, January 22, at 7:30pm. LU brings a 1-13 season mark and a 1-8 RRAC record into the game. It is the third game in the middle of a five-game homestand. Bacone College (9-7, 4-5) visits the FLC on Monday, Jan. 24.
SAGU has their work cut out for them to qualify for the RRAC tournament in March. To finish the season at .500 they must win 10 of their remaining 14 games, with half of them carrying a winning record at midseason. The top eight teams earn a bid into the single-elimination event.