USAO hot streak overcomes seven-point, second half deficit

Lions entertain Texas Wesleyan on Saturday

Box Score (below)

SAC Standings:  http://www.soonerathletic.org/ 

CHICKASHA, Oklahoma  --  Running into a red-hot team on the road was too much for No. 4 Southwestern Assemblies of God University on Thursday night.

University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) hit 54% of their shots, including 10-of-18 from beyond the arc to rally past the Lions, 88-80, at the USAO Fieldhouse.

Despite the sizzling effort by the Drovers, SAGU (19-3 / 11-2 in SAC) was holding a 63-58 lead with 12:09 remaining. In fact the lead swapped hands 10 times and was tied on seven occasions.

USAO (9-10 / 6-6 in SAC), whom the Lions met in the NAIA National tournament last March, used an impressive 19-3 run to take their largest lead, 77-66, with 5:35 to go.

During that stretch of play the hosts connected on 6-of-7 shots, four of them from long distance, and sank 3-of-4 at the foul line. Simultaneously the Purple Pride missed eleven of twelve shots and turned the ball over twice.

The Lions bounced back quickly with eight straight points to draw to within 77-74 at the 3:11 mark.

Two free throws apiece by Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Chr CH, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian ) and baskets from Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ) and Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / LR Parkview HS ) gave the Lions a shot to pull out the victory.

Science & Arts, however, would not be denied. They finished strongly, netting 3-of-4 shots and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Two huge offensive rebounds, each converted into two points, proved critical.

In the closing three minutes the Lions were successful on just one of five tries and suffered a turnover. They did make four-of-four on the foul line.

rambo-at-usaoHead Coach Donnie Bostwick responded to the setback with praise for his team’s play on the road against a team hitting on all cylinders. He also took the blame for the loss.

“I felt like we played through some foul trouble the first half to Emmanuel and Jon and was happy to be down by three (43-40),” he said following the game. “(USAO) was hitting 56 percent of their shots and 63% of their threes during the first half.”

“We came out and played well at the start of the second half,” he recalled. “We built an early lead (54-47). (Then) I managed the bench poorly and let them (USAO) get a run going which negated our lead.”

“We had to play catch-up the rest of the game. We battled back and got close” he said, “but our opponent was tough to beat the way they were shooting.”

He compared the game to the loss at Wayland Baptist University, when the home team was near-perfect at game’s end.

“I give USAO credit for really shooting the ball well,” he added. “If we shot like that we’d win by 20. I was impressed that we gave ourselves a chance to win with solid play during the last five minutes.”

“I put our guys in a tough spot,” he continued, pointing out second half line-up moves. “I will take the blame for that loss.”

“We will learn from it and get back to the house for a big game with TWU on Saturday.”

SAGU plays host to Texas Wesleyan University (13-10 / 6-7 in SAC) at the Sheaffer Center on Saturday. The game is set for a 5:00pm (CST) start.

The loss to the Drovers was offset when the second place team, Mid-America Christian University (14-6 / 10-4 in SAC) lost at home, 101-96, to Wayland Baptist (16-6 / 7-5 in SAC).

SAGU maintains their two game lead.

There were several positives about the Lions effort on Thursday. They made just 11 turnovers while forcing 20 and owned a 17-8 edge in offensive rebounds.

USAO, to their credit, contested SAGU’s second chance opportunities. The Lions were credited with a season-low of two assists.

Player Statistics

Rambo led the offense with 36 points, though it took 30 shots to get them. No one else reached double figures. The rest of the starting line-up made 10-of-29 shots.

The bench helped make up the difference by outscoring their counterparts by a 20-8 margin. They made 8-of-17 shots (47%).

Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS ) tossed in eight points while Walter and Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) accounted for seven apiece.

Guidry and Andre Crear (Ft Worth, Tx / Trimble Tech HS, Angelina College ) each had six points. Adoyi, Walter and Rambo registered seven rebounds individually.

Shavon Scott had a game-high 28 points for the Drovers. He stroked 4-of-5 from outside the arc and netted all eight of his free throws. Jahseth Lloyd dominated inside with 20 points and a game-best 12 rebounds.

Two other players scored in double digits. The Drovers also benefitted from the return of Kennis White (nine points), who had missed recent games due to an injury. USAO has five players scoring 10 points per game or more during the season.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

Box Score: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&sea=NAIMBB_2013&conference=NAIMBB1_SAC&team=440

 Click on the underlined score to access the box score. Click on the split blue box on the right for the play-by-play in detail.

Special Thanks: USAO Sports Information Director; Jessica Jackson, for the photos in this article.
 

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