Lions close semester at home on Monday
Arlington Baptist (4-5) takes on No. 3 SAGU (6-1)
Patriots' ability to limit outside shooters will be put to the test
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The first semester comes to an end on Monday night for the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team.
The Lions, ranked No. 3 in the NAIA, will meet Arlington Baptist College at home at 8:00pm (CST).
Fans can follow the digital accounts of the game; score, clock and complete statistics in real time, on a LiveStats webcast at: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10
Local fans are urged to attend the game, with seats aplenty now that students have vacated the campus for Christmas.
SAGU enters the game with a 6-1 record, while the Patriots are 4-5.
The Lions defeated Paul Quinn College, 75-49, on Tuesday in southeast Dallas.
A complete review of the game, including action photos, will be posted Monday night.
In Arlington Baptist’s most recent game they topped the University of Dallas (NCAA D3), 82-79. They are putting points on the board, at 75.2 points per game, making them a force to be reckoned with.
The Pats are averaging 38 rebounds per outing, including 13.5 offensive boards.
ABC is holding their own on defense, limiting foes to .432 accuracy. That ranks seventh best in the *NCCAA. They are particularly tough when defending the perimeter.
Opposing shooters are knocking down only .267 of their three-point attempts and have made just 4.2 triples per game against the Patriots.
Offensively the Pats utilize a balanced attack, with no one scoring over 13 ppg.
Previewing the Patriots' Players to Watch
A pair of forwards anchor the team’s interior. Willie Clayborne, at 6’4, has made 26 of his 39 shots (.667) and is second on the team in scoring at 12.4 ppg.
Six-foot-two Jeremiah Ford is latching onto 7.3 rebounds per game and leads in points at 12.8. Half of his boards come on offense. Ford is an efficient shooter, netting 27-of-50 (.540) shots.
A pair of freshman guards have the best shooting percentage from downtown; Eric Wood (.400) and Jamie Briceno (.320). Josh Green, is tops on the foul line, connected on 18-of-24 (.750) while also swishing over 47% of his shots overall.
Simeon Brinkley, 6-foot-2 senior guard steers the attack with 4.2 assists each contest.
A year ago the Lions pulled away from the Patriots, 92-65, on the strength of 19 offensive rebounds. ABC took advantage of a large edge on the foul line, sinking 24-of-37.
SAGU Head Coach Donnie Bostwick was able to play his entire roster, with 14-of-15 players scoring.
Previewing the Purple Pride
The Lions are scoring at an 84.3 ppg clip.
Junior wingers, 6'5 Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College) and 6'4 Jon Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS) lead five players in double figures by pouring in 17.4 and 17.0 ppg.
Feemster is off to a solid start, stroking 46% from the field, 43% from long distance (24-of-56) and 80% on the charity stripe. He also tops the team in caroms, grabbing 9.1 rpg.
Walter, a flyer and playmaker, had a career best six steals on Monday against Paul Quinn College.
Senior guard Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ) is the spurs on the team’s boots. He goads his teammates to excel on defense, to dive for loose balls and to up the speed of the game.
Gentry nets 16.6 ppg and 4.1 assists per game. He’s a sniper on the foul line, hitting 37-of-46 (.804), latches on to 5.1 boards and his 3.1 steals per game ranks No. 5 in the NAIA.
SAGU’s next three scorers are Drew Erskine (Houston, Tx / Victoria West HS, Centenary College) and Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS) each at 11.9, and Tyler Gentry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian) adds 9.5.
Contributing in the paint are forwards Karor Gumwell (Victoria, Australia / Victory Chr, Southwestern CC) and Remington Mitchell (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS). Gumwell is second in rebounding, reeling in 6.5, while “Big Rem” averages 5.4 boards.
Mitchell has also blocked 18 shots, seven on Monday night. His 2.57 rejections per game rank him No. 4 in the NAIA.
The Lions have extended their bench this season.
Coach Bostwick has worked at developing his rotations, and is able to send over a dozen players into the battle. It is a definite upgrade from last year's squad.
Upcoming SAGU Schedule
After Monday night SAGU will begin their 20-game Sooner Athletic Conference season in the first week of January.
On Thursday, January 2, they travel to perennial power Oklahoma Baptist University. The Bison are the pick of the league’s coaches as the team to beat.
SAGU’s first home game is Saturday, Jan. 4, when they tangle with nationally ranked Mid-America Christian University.
That game, and all home dates the remainder of the season will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live.
*NCCAA - National Christian College Athletic Association