No. 3 Lions shake off rust in 74-49 triumph
SAGU depth, defense wears down Tigers
Feemster, Walter fuel offense; Mitchell blocks seven shots
Box Score (at bottom of story)
Current SAC Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/
DALLAS, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University, playing for the first time in over two weeks, overcame an erratic start, gradually pulling away from a feisty Paul Quinn College squad en route to a 74-49 win on Tuesday night.
The No. 3 ranked Lions (6-1) took the lead for good when junior Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ) scored following a turnover for a 13-12 lead just eight minutes into the game.
Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) then wristed a three-pointer from the wing before Walter got free for a thunderous dunk in transition. SAGU had seized control.
Paul Quinn remained close until the Lions used a 13-2 surge late in the half to take a 41-28 lead into the locker room.
Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) scored five in a row and Feemster launched back-to-back triples to close a half in which SAGU made half of their 28 shots.
The defense allowed just 9-of-31 (.290) partly because of the inside presence of Remington Mitchell (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS ). The 6’8 freshman blocked four of his game-high seven in the opening stanza.
Head Coach Donnie Bostwick kept rotating two five-man units. Fresh troops every four minutes kept the pressure on the Tigers, who were held to 8-of-31 (.258) in the second half.
SAGU saw their lead expand to 28 points before a third quintet played the final 3+ minutes. Eleven of fifteen players scored.
"I felt we were a little rusty, early, but give Paul Quinn credit," explained Coach Bostwick. "They played well and made us work for things all night."
"Defensively we got better tonight. That was the game plan."
"Our depth is going to be the key to our success this year," Bostwick continued. "We are able to keep fresh defensive players on the floor."
Individually he mentioned the play of Walter, who plays a hybrid of guard and forward.
"Jon made an impact on the game on both ends of the floor. In 20 minutes he had a great stat line."
He certainly wasn't alone. Feemster, who played his freshman season at SAGU before transferring to Ranger College (Brownwood, Tx). He is making the most of his return!
Like a bass player in a smooth jazz band, the 6’5 Feemster continues his shooting rhythm by giving opponents the blues.
The junior wing led all scorers with 18. Playing just twenty-one minutes, he thumped six-of-nine from downtown.
He is making 46% of his shots, including 24-of-56 (.429) from beyond the arc.
At 3.43 treys per game, he is No. 8 on the NAIA’s national leader board.
Walter added 17 points in nineteen minutes. Like Feemster, he was 6-of-10 from the field.
The 6’4 junior also had a career-best six steals and was credited with five rebounds.
Gentry, the energetic booster, was active on offense and defense.
His passing helped distribute the ball in the Lions’ motion offense. He racked up four assists, 12 points and also latched onto five boards.
This year’s team is deeper, taller and quicker.
A few players who made an impact on Tuesday were 6’7 junior forward Karor Gumwell (Victoria, Australia / Victory Chr, Southwestern CC ), who had eight rebounds, 6'5 Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS ), who netted six points, and Andre Crear (Ft Worth, Tx / Trimble Tech HS, Angelina College ).
The trio is more than capable of making big plays when their number is called. Crear added five points and six caroms in sixteen minutes.
SAGU did turn the ball over 19 times, but no one had more than two.
After entering the contest as the third best free throw shooting team in the NAIA, they converted just 15 of 27 free throws (.556).
The Lions dominated the paint, evidenced by their 55-36 advantage in rebounds. SAGU finished with 14 boards on the offensive glass. Nationally they rank #8 with a 15.3 average.
The Tigers placed three players in double-figures; Tevin Williams and Colan Weasby had twelve apiece and Dwayne Bowden added eleven.
Semester's final home game on Dec. 16
Monday, December 16, is the Lions’ final game this semester. They will welcome Arlington Baptist College (2-4) for an 8:00pm tipoff at the Sheaffer Center.
They return to the court the first week in January with the start of the 20-game conference season.
Thursday, Jan. 4, SAGU hosts Oklahoma Baptist University at 8:00pm.
The Bison, who opened the season ranked No. 2 in the nation, are the pick as the team to beat in the league this season. Do not miss this game!
OBU is currently 4-4. Last season they piled up the wins in a 25-8 campaign.
Their losses have come to No. 22 College of the Ozarks (8-3), No. 5 Evangel University (10-1), No. 13 Benedictine College (8-1) and to No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport.
The game will the initial basketball broadcast by the SAGU Sports Network.
Complete Player Statistics (through seven games): http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/IndividualStats.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&sea=NAIMBB_2013&team=440