Pair of scoring surges propel Lions to 80-71 win
SAGU tops Science & Arts with 12-0, 11-0 runs
Oklahoma City visits the Sheaffer Center on Monday night
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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- No. 2 ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God University reeled off twelve unanswered points to start the second to break open a close game en route to an 80-71 triumph over the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma.
The first half was tightly contested, physical and with few objections cited by officials.
Exiting the locker room for the second stanza while holding a slim, 37-35 benefit, the Lions amped up their defense.
Two quick steals, a flashy transition basket and a pair of three-bombs pushed the lead to 49-35. The Lions were never headed.
USAO rallied to within 52-48 on a David Tucker, Jr. three-pointer with 11:08 to play. They wouldn’t get closer.
SAGU, now 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, dashed the Drovers’ hopes with another run, this one an 11-0 surge (63-48, 7:13).
On four occasions they had a 16-point upper hand, the last coming at 80-64 with 1:35 remaining. USAO (5-7 / 2-3 in SAC) scored the final seven points.
“Another step in the right direction” is how SAGU Head Coach Donnie Bostwick described Saturday’s game.
The only unbeaten team in league play in the SAC, the Lions hold a one game lead over No. 12 St. Gregory’s University (13-1 / 4-1) and Wayland Baptist University (12-2 / 3-1).
Wayland edged No. 18 Mid-America Christian University (8-4 / 4-2) on Saturday, 81-79, in Plainview, Texas.
Bostwick’s summary of the hard-fought victory over the Drovers: “I’m very pleased with the unselfish play, the energy (we received) from the bench, and first five minutes of the second half.”
“That’s when we turned up our defensive and broke open the game. We were tired down the stretch and traded baskets with them,” he added. “But overall it was a quality win versus a good USAO team.”
The teams met in the opening round of the NAIA tournament in Kansas City last March where the Lions rallied for a 62-58 win.
“We shot the ball well because we made the extra, unselfish pass and made each other look good,” Bostwick continued. “We adjusted to the officiating and communicated much better as a group.”
“It is same story; enjoy the win tonight, recharge on Sunday, and then refocus for the next big challenge coming in on Monday.”
That’s when Team Purple entertains Oklahoma City University (7-5 / 3-2) at 8:00pm (CST).
Bostwick pointed out that “OCU has size, athleticism and are a very good team."
For all of the Lions’ defensive vigor, the Drovers had plenty of verve themselves. They made 47% of their shots in the first half and 55% in the second.
Keeping their night from being super was the three-point line. It was kryptonite on Saturday, evidenced by their 6-of-21 (28%) totals.
SAGU countered a 37% success rate in the first twenty minutes by being true on 16-of-28 (57%) afterwards. From long distance they swished eleven of thirty (37%).
Neither team got to the foul line enough for it to be a factor.
The Lions took advantage of a 34-28 edge on the boards that included a 12-7 margin at the offensive glass.
Player Stats show balance for Lions, Drovers
SAGU was led by Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Chr CH, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ). The pair made plays throughout the game – on both ends of the floor.
Rambo bucketed 23 points. It included four triples and five-of-six free throws.
Those numbers hardly tell the story. The 5-foot-10 senior grabbed seven rebounds, distributed five assists, collected two steals and made only two turnovers.
Walter continues to produce, netting 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He also latched onto seven boards.
Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) was credited with 13 points in a game that saw him get only eight shots. He added five rebounds and knocked down a trio of treys.
Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / LR Parkview HS ) is finding his rhythm. The angular sophomore had 10 points by stroking five-of-eight from the field. He led both teams with eight caroms.
Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) spent the whole game defending with his “all out” game on full display.
He totaled just seven points and seldom shot while registering three assists and two steals. The blue collar worker was tops in minutes played (34).
Freshman Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS ) maximized his eight minutes with eight points, the lone reserve to score in a quiet night for the second rotation.
Jahseth Lloyd, the Drovers talented forward, racked up 21 points and six rebounds. He made 9-of-10 shots, though he was held to 10 points in the first 33 minutes.
His threw down dunks on three occasions.
Three of his teammates also reach double digits; Tucker (14), Kennis White (13) and Tyler Reynolds (13).
Note: Be sure to check out the next article on Sunday that highlights big plays made by the Lions.
Current Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/4.php
PhotoGallery: movingpictures.photoreflect.com Box Score: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/BoxScores/BoxScores.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&sea=NAIMBB_2013&team=440&compID=165403 C C
(Click on the split blue box in the upper right corner for the game's play-by-play)