Lions Rally Falls Short vs Jarvis, 96-90
SAGU outboards the Bulldogs; Horne fills it up
HAWKINS, Texas -- Despite making more baskets and three-pointers as well as controlling the rebounds, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (3-9, 1-6) men's basketball team fell to Jarvis Christian College (7-9, 4-3), 96-90, Monday night in East Texas.
The Lions trailed at the half, 45-40, and slipped into a 15-point deficit before coming to life. Energized by freshman guard Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS), who went 5-for-5 from the field in the second half when he score all 13 of his points, SAGU's comeback crested like a wave until the team tied the score in the closing minutes.
That's when the Bulldogs' Brian Lockett, a 5'11 sophomore, fired a 3-point dagger into the rally. Southwestern's next possession resulted in a critical turnover, and Jarvis began to salt away the win at the foul line from that moment on. Lockett lead his squad in scoring with 22 as well as spearheading a defense that forced 22 Lions turnovers. He had a game-high seven steals.
The defeat was the Lions' seventh straight, but had more than its share of reasons to be hopeful of a turnaround.
Coach Jerry Boone went with a different starting lineup, going with three big men on the baseline and a pair of guards, and the results were promising. The noteworthy positives:
The Lions poured in 90 points, 16 over their average. It was only their second time to reach the 90-point plateau during regulation time. They had 99 against Univ of the Southwest. Ronald Horne had a season high 34 points after a slow start following the holiday break.
The team sank 39% of their shots, better than their 38% season average. Beyond the arc the Lions were making an average of 8.1 three-pointers per game, which ranked 14th in the nation. Versus Jarvis the club drained 11 three in the contest, well over their existing clip. Horne and Peter Dutton both made four triples, while Jared Gibson stroked three more.
*FREE THROW SITUATION:
Southwestern connected on 23 of 28 against JCC. That is an 82% clip, which is outstanding. Entering the game, their season average of .745, ranked 4th best in the nation. Horne was good on 12-of-13 attempts, with Duce Ward flipping in 5-of-6.
The Lions outrebounded an opponent for just the second time, 44-37. Earlier this season the Lions outrebounded the University of the Southwest, 39-37. The 37 boards they yielded was the same total they allowed USW. Ward yanked down 15 rebounds, with new forward Gabriel Clark accounting for 11 more. Clark also rejected six shots.
The Friendly Confines of Home
Southwestern returns to the court on Saturday, January 15 at 7:30pm. Huston-Tillotson University (0-16, 0-7) comes to town in search of their first win. The Lions are 3-3 inside the Sheaffer Full Life Center and 0-6 on the road.
It will be the first of 10 home games to be broadcast on SAGU Sports Live, a high definition video stream that will be brought to viewers at no cost to them.
The Tillotson battle is the first of five consecutive home matches for the Lions, who need a successful home stand to make a run to move up their seeding.
Rikki, Don't Lose That Number
Statistically, with Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) setting him up with assists, Horne was knocking them down. His four 3-bombs are hopefully a sign that he's back on track. He swooshed 12-of-13 free throw attempts. The 34-point outburst was Horne's career best at SAGU. His previous high was 30 at Wiley College last month.
New guard, Peter Dutton, a 6'4 freshman from Houston's Booker T. Washington HS, bucketed 16 points. He found the range on 5-of-9 shots, with four of them coming from three-point land. Grigsby registered 13 points, while Gibson connected on three trifectas during an 11-point showing.
Seizing Free Agent Spheres
Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Connally HS) seized 15 free agent spheres, adding to his national leading rebound average. He has reached double-figures in boards in all twelve games. He also contributed seven points.
New acquisition Gabriel Clark (Modesto, Ca / Modesto HS), a 6'8 forward, continues to play well on the interior. He clutched 13 rebounds and blocked six shots. Bosko Ognenovski (Bitola, Macedonia / State Fair Community College) was strapped with foul trouble throughout the game, but still managed to snatch five boards.
The Lions are not considered a physical team, though they were whistled for 29 fouls. By game's end, two players had fouled out (Clark, Grigsby) and three others had four (Ward, Horne, Ognenovski).
Jarvis cashed in, converting 33 of 42 foul shots (78%), compared to the Lions making 23 of 28 (82%). From the field, both teams made 39% of their attempts, with SAGU holding a 28-27 edge in baskets, and 11-9 advantage in three-pointers.
Assistant Coach Jimmie Williams said the team had one its better games on offense, moving the ball well and distributing the rock to players for better shots.
"Now we just need to build on the Jarvis game during our five straight games at home," he said following the game. "We made some adjustments in the line-up and rotation, and we'll only improve. We're moving forward."
He also praised the play of Clark, who is "...picking up more of the offense with each day of practice. He figures to be a big addition."
With success in the coming homestand, fans can only hope to see more "addition" to the win column.