SAGU withstands Rams, 77-74
Lions, now 20-3, fire 13 treys, build 18-point lead
Bostwick earns 200th career coaching victory
Team enters critical week: hosts OBU, play at MACU
Box Score and Play-by-Play (below)
Photo Gallery (258 shots, below)
Current SAC Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- No. 4 Southwestern Assemblies of God University built an 18-point second half lead and staved off a strong comeback by Texas Wesleyan University, 77-74, on Saturday at the Sheaffer Center.
SAGU, now 20-3 in all games and 12-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, never trailed.
The victory, played in front of a packed house, sets up a critical week for the Lions.
Thursday they meet Oklahoma Baptist University, the preseason favorite in the SAC. The Bison routed Wayland Baptist University, 88-67, on Saturday.
Next Saturday, February 15, the Lions take on second place Mid-America Christian University (14-6 / 10-4 in SAC) in Oklahoma City.
SAGU played with great precision in establishing a 47-31 lead at the break against TWU. The hosts shot 44% from the field, including nine three-pointers, and made only five turnovers.
Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) wristed his first three attempts from long distance to jumpstart the Pride. Leading 22-17 midway through the stanza, junior wing Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ) infused the team. He bagged 11 of his 13 first half points down the stretch.
By intermission the Lions had five different players stroking a three-ball, with Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Chr CH, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and Feemster firing a trio of treys.
“I really felt like we took a step in the right direction,” said Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. “Our first half execution and attention to detail to our scouting report was as good as it has ever been.”
SAGU went up by 18 on three occasions, the last at 57-39, before the Rams pieced together a 10-0 run to draw to within eight (57-49)
Rambo answered with a pair of trifectas and Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian ) stepped in with one of his own to boost the lead back to 16 (69-53) with 7:27 on the clock.
Wesleyan upped their intensity during an 11-0 surge that sliced their debt to five, 69-64 at 4:37. Their cause was greatly aided by the Lions missing 10 second half free throws.
In the closing seven minutes SAGU misfired on all seven of their shots, and were forced to finish the game on the foul line.
The Rams managed to pull to within 74-72 on a dunk by Rilwan Bakare, though only ten seconds remained. Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / LR Parkview HS ) swished a pair from the charity stripe (0:08), and, after another inside score by Bakare, Feemster split a pair for the final points.
Wesleyan had a chance at a last, gasp, blast, but Adoyi made a steal as the horn sounded.
“The second half,” Bostwick said, trying to assess the Lions cold shooting and the rally by the Rams, “we may’ve became a little bit complacent for a few minutes. We missed some free throws and missed on some wide-open good looks. That’s all it took.”
“This time of year teams are playing for their post-season lives,” he continued, “and Texas Wesleyan is a very good team. They made a couple of very good runs.”
He also praised a number of players.
“Rambo played well and got everybody involved,” he added. “That is huge in his role as leader. Feemster came out focused and got us off to a good start.”
“Jon hit key shots. 'E' (Adoyi) and "Hondo" (Caleb Gentry), as usual, set the tone for our defense.”
Rambo led an offense that produced four players in double figures. He netted 18 points, passed for four assists and made four steals.
Perhaps more impressive was the 5-foot-10 senior’s nine rebounds. Five of them were on the offensive glass.
Walter finished with 16 on six-of-11 shooting, while Adoyi and Feemster tossed in 13 apiece. Adoyi had six boards and Feemster was credited with three assists.
Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) scored eight points and dished our four dimes (assists).
Wesleyan was led by Dallas Jones and Kenny Rhymes with 23 and 19 points respectively. The latter reeled in 17 rebounds.
The Lions were outboarded 57-39, including 19-13 on offense. That’s a rarity.
They countered by forcing the Rams into 16 turnovers. SAGU, who commit the least turnovers in the conference, made just seven; only two in the second half.
The only thing more intense than the competition may have been the shrill of whistles. Each team was cited for 27 fouls, which limited both teams from maintaining offensive rhythm.
Neither team took advantage from the foul line, each swishing just 16-of-32.
The win was the 200th in the seven year coaching career for SAGU’s Bostwick.
Predictably, he gave praise to God for his blessing and to the players on the team. (see separate article on the milestone)
Click on the underlined score for team and player statistics. Click on the split blue box on the right for the play-by-play account of the game.
Photo Gallery (258 shots): movingpictures.photoreflect.com