Gentry, Mills, Feemster lead Lions to 2-0 start
On Deck: No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport on Tuesday
Box Score and SAC Standings (links below)
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Demonstrating poise and perseverance, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team stood strong under pressure, then prevailed in overtime, 92-82.
Facing an unbeaten McPherson College (Ks) team who shot 51% the night before in a 72-59 win at Paul Quinn College, the Lions had a tougher than expected matchup.
After breaking away from a 36-36 tie at the half, the Lions built a 50-40 lead just four minutes into the second half. SAGU, now 2-0, still lead 66-59 with 7:15 remaining.
The Bulldogs, who entered the game with a 4-0 record, battled back to tie the score with just over a minute remaining. They had two shots in the final ten seconds, but neither was close to tickling the twine.
In the five minute OT the Lions never trailed. Remington Mitchell (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS) and Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS), a pair of impressive freshmen, each knocked down a pair from the foul line to put SAGU in front to stay, 75-71.
Senior guard Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ) knifed inside for a layup. Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College) then went coast-to-coast after grabbing a defensive rebound, scoring on a left-handed runner.
Gentry then spotted Feemster open on the wing for a triple and an 82-77 advantage with 1:43 to play.
Each McPherson miss down the stretch was followed by a foul, and the Lions iced the game on the charity stripe. In extra time the Purple Pride made all 12 of their free throws.
"I am very proud of the team's effort,” said third year Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. “Their ability to overcome adversity tonight was clear.”
“It was a great team effort from start to finish,” he added.
As for the 4-1 Bulldogs, “McPherson has a nice team. They are very well coached. They have a couple of experienced upperclassmen who hit big shots and made plays.”
“It is good anytime you can get better and win a close game at the same time."
McPherson played with cohesion and a dash of well-deserved swagger.
After a Feemster trey gave SAGU a 14-10 lead, the Bulldogs regrouped.
A Samson Shivers 3-ball capped an 18-8 run for a 28-22 upper-hand.
They extended their lead to 34-27 when Joey Powers set up a jumper by TJ Grant.
Mills closed the half with a flurry, making a three-point play and, after a Gentry steal, scored on an offensive stickback with 0:47 left.
He scored in transition on a Drew Erskine (Houston, Tx / Victoria West HS, Centenary College) dime. Following an MC turnover, Team Purp had the ball at midcourt and 0:0.9 remaining.
Mills lobbed the inbounds pass into the paint to the 6-foot-8 Mitchell. His catch and shoot, sans a dribble, leveled the score at 36.
During SAGU’s 14-4 surge at the start of the second stanza, Mills scored nine points. His trifecta gave the Jungle Kings a 50-40 lead.
Every time SAGU appeared set to pull away, the Dogs fought back.
Steals by Erik DeRoo and Shivers ignited a rally that drew them to within 61-59 at the 8:02 mark.
Erskine assisted one of three Gentry triples for a 66-59 margin. But DeRoo drained a ‘three’ to knot the score at 69.
Powers put McPherson in front with a transition layup. It was 71-70 with 1:10 showing on the Sheaffer Center clock.
In the final minute the Bulldogs missed three shots.
When Gentry’s three-ball was off the mark, Mitchell’s offensive tip-in rolled off the rim.
He grabbed his own rebound, was fouled, and then split a pair to tie the game with 0:51 to go.
Kyle Lakin, who failed to score, missed MC’s final two shots from midrange.
Having dodged a bullet, the Lions took advantage of the reprieve. They connected on three-of-five shots in OT while limiting the Bulldogs to 2-for-8.
Player Stats and Coach's Quotes
Gentry and Mills teamed up to pour in 29 and 25 points respectively. Mills added seven rebounds and Gentry racked up seven steals.
Feemster bucketed 19 points and latched onto 13 rebounds.
Mitchell also claimed 13 caroms, six of them on the offensive glass, and blocked three shots.
“Hondo (Gentry) is doing an incredible job leading us right now,” Bostwick said in recognition of the senior’s example. “He made plays all night long.”
“Drew (Erskine) has really stepped up. He provides a calming presence and a toughness that I like,” added Bostwick. “He is a coach’s kid and plays like one; smart and tough.”
He also singled out the other starters.
“Caleb Feemster is really helping take some of the leadership and scoring pressure off of Hondo. He is deceptively athletic, has a nose for the ball and can score.”
“Remington and Daniel (Mills) are two young, talented freshmen who are growing up in a hurry. I am very proud of both of them as well.”
“Our bench will continue to get better,” he concluded. “They played well in our opener, but I limited the rotation tonight.”
McPherson (4-1) placed four in double digits, led by Shivers and DeRoo, who produced 24 and 21 points. They held their own on the boards, holding a 48-46 edge.
Big Home Game Tuesday: #5 SAGU hosts #2 LSU-Shreveport
SAGU returns to the court on Tuesday, November 12, when they host No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport (1-1). Tip-off is set for 7:00pm.
Media coverage will be limited to LiveStats at: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10
Fans can visit the SAGU Sports Network’s Facebook fan page for updates, or follow the Lions’ tracks on Twitter @SAGUSportsNet for scoreboard updates.
The Lions will also entertain Paul Quinn College on Thursday at 7:30pm.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at email@example.com or at 469-658-2847.
SAC Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/4.php