Lions Play in NCCAA Tournament Tonight
SAGU meets Crowley's Ridge at 6:00pm
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- The Central Regional men's basketball tournament of the National Christian College Athletic Association begins tonight in Oklahoma City, and the Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions are set to play at 6:00pm.
They are part of a 10-team field and are seeded #7. They will play the #10 seed, Crowley's Ridge College, of Paragould, Arkansas. Located on top of an unusual ridge east of the Ozark Mountains in northeast corner of the state, CRC is a small, Christian liberal arts institution since 1964.
Their men's basketball team, the Pioneers, won their final four games of the regular season and enters the Central Regional with a 13-15 won-lost record. SAGU is 11-18. The game will take place in the Gaulke Activity Center on the campus of Mid-America Christian University. The facility was built in 1997 and seats 1,100 fans in both theatre and bleacher sections.
The winner will take on the tournament hosts, the MACU Evangels on Thursday at 8:00pm. Mid-America also has a 13-15 record, having lost their final two games of the season to narrowly miss the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament. The Evangels have dropped 5-of-their-last-7 games. However, they defeated SAC champion Oklahoma Baptist (24-8), 82-76, on the road on February 17.
Should SAGU win on Wednesday night, their game with MACU will be played at 8:00pm on Thursday. That game will be available on both their LIVESTREAM webcast as well as LIVESTATS. Access links will be posted should Southwestern win. MACU will only stream and produce livestats of games in which their team participates.
The winner of the regional will advance to next week's 8-team nationals in Oakland City, Indiana. The Lions would need to win four games in four days to punch their ticket to Oakland City University, an NCAA Division II college of 2,600 students. That challenge would require the Jungle Kings to do something they haven't come close to this year. The team's longest winning streak has been two-in-a-row, which they accomplished twice this winter.
SAGU Head Coach, Dr. Jerry Boone, whose team played very well during their quarterfinal in last week's Red River Athletic Conference tournament loss to Texas Wesleyan University. The Rams pulled away from a 78-73 lead with 4:44 remaining to post a 97-83 win. Wesleyan was ranked #3 in the NAIA.
SAGU led by Three Bucketeers
The Lions continue to be led by Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Waco HS), Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) and Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Connally HS). Horne is the #2 scorer in the nation (23.5 ppg), while Gibson (14.1 ppg), the team's top three-point threat with 89 triples, joins Horne in the backcourt. Ward continues to hold the national lead in rebounds (12.3 rpg).
Also playing tonight are the #8 seed, Ecclesia College Royals and #9 Southwestern Christian University Eagles (6-22). Ecclesia is located in Springdale, Arkansas, while SCU is based in Bethany, a western suburb of OKC.
The top six seeds include:
#1 Dallas Baptist University Patriots (14-12)
#2 Mid-America Christian University (Ok) Evangels (13-15)
#3 York College (Neb) Panthers (14-16)
#4 Colorado Christian University (Colo) Cougars (7-19)
#5 Central Christian College (Kan) Tigers (21-9)
#6 Central Baptist College (Ark) Mustangs (12-11)
Central Regional Men's Games
Wednesday, March 9
6:00 #7 SAGU Lions vs #10 Crowley's Ridge College
8:00 #8 Ecclesia College vs #9 Southwestern Christian University
Thursday, March 10
2:00 #3 York College vs #6 Central Baptist College
4:00 #4 Colorado Christian University vs #5 Central Christian College
6:00 #1 Dallas Baptist University vs Winner of Ecclesia/SWCU
8:00 #2 Mid-America Christian University vs Winner of SAGU/Crowley's Ridge
Friday, March 11
4:00 Winner of Thursday's 4pm game vs Winner of Thursday's 6pm game
8:00 Winner of Thursday's 2pm game vs Winner of Thursday's 8:00pm game
Saturday, March 12
3:00 Men's Championship game
Note: The NCCAA Women's Central Regional tourney will also take place at MACU on Friday and Saturday.
Friday - #1 SAGU Lady Lions (21-11) vs #4 Southwestern Christian University (12-17) at 2:00pm
Friday - #2 MACU Lady Evangels (12-16) vs #3 Central Baptist College (10-14), 6:00pm
Saturday - Women's Championship game, 1:00pm