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SAGU reaches midseason in SAC; big home games coming

mills-macuWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The college basketball regular season enters its final five weeks on Monday night for Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

The Lions, currently ranked No. 1 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll, are 16-2 overall. At the midseason point in the Sooner Athletic Conference the team is 9-1.

The Purple Pride has twelve remaining games, seven of them in the friendly confines of the Sheaffer Center.

On Monday night, January 27, the Lions will take to the court for the first time since falling in the last minute to Wayland Baptist University on Thursday. SAGU meets Ecclesia College in a 6:00pm contest.

Ecclesia (ECK-less-SEE-ya) is located in Springdale, Arkansas, 15 miles north of Fayetteville, the home of the University of Arkansas.

The college was founded in 1975 by Oren Paris II, previous College Chancellor, and the father of noted recording artist, Twila Paris. Ecclesia is a Greek word, meaning "called-out ones."

SAGU made the 375 mile trek to the northwest corner of the state on Sunday. Their trip to play at Wayland on Thursday was 365 miles.

SAGU will be back on the road on Thursday when they tangle with nationally ranked Oklahoma City University at 8:00pm. The game will be broadcast in livestream video.

When Head Coach Donnie Bostwick’s club tips it off against Ecclesia’s Royals, 4-13, they will be the eighth NAIA team EC has played this season. They have played John Brown University (twice) and Wayland Baptist University from the SAC.

They have yet to defeat any of them. The average margin of defeat to NAIA foes has been 27 points, though two of them were between 10-15 points.

The Royals, whose logo features a lion, produce an average of 66.5 ppg in their 17 games while surrendering 87.4.

First year Head Coach T.K. Smith, who previously was the head of basketball operations at his alma mater, NCAA Division I’s University of Central Arkansas. He played there under Corliss Williamson.

Ecclesia College has not ducked tough competition. It should be noted that their record includes four games against NCAA Division 2 teams as well as three exhibitions; one against an NCAA D1 team and two versus D2 members.

The Royals have ten players between 6’3 and 6’7.

A full report of the game will be posted here on Monday evening.

Currently there is no coverage available in video, audio or LiveStats.

Inside updates may be available on the SAGU Sports Network’s Twitter account. The handle for fans to follow is:  @SAGUSportsNet.

The Lions are healthy entering the game. Having completed a rigorous 10 games in 22 days, six of them on the road, it’s fair to say the team is looking forward to Saturday.

That is when they return home against Southwestern Christian University.

When the Pride completes away games at Ecclesia and OKC on Thursday, they will have come through 12 games in 29 days.

Six of the next seven games are slated for Sheaffer Center.

The Lions have to play 10 more league games, six at home. With a two game lead on No. 22 Mid-America Christian University, that could come in handy.

SAGU will meet MACU in Oklahoma City on Saturday, February 15.

The conference race is shaping up to be fierce battle down the stretch. Five teams are tied for third with four losses.

Check out the midseason report on the SAC (click on the above attachment). It includes a team-by-team statistical comparison that includes eleven major categories.

Plus, which teams benefit more from being cited for fewer fouls or been more affected by whistles is also contrasted.

The update also lists leaders in six stats among players.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at mwarde@sagu.edu or at 469-658-2847.

Sooner Athletic Conference current standings:  http://www.soonerathletic.org/

Next NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll to be announced on Tuesday, January 28.

Note: If the Sooner Conference Midseason Update link isn't connected, check back later on Monday.
 

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