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NAIA First Round game set for Thursday, 4:30pm

Key Battle:  Lions backcourt vs. Patriots frontcourt

MEDIA ACCESS: Livestream Video, Twitter, Tumblr blog: SAGU upROAR

KANSAS CITY, Missouri  --  The win-or-go-home nature of college basketball’s end of the season championship tournament is underway.

Thirty-two teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) are in town for six days. That’s how long it will take to eliminate all but one squad, meaning the champion will need to win five games in less than a week to don the crown.

It is called the toughest college basketball tournament anywhere.

And for good reason.

The first round takes two days, with eight games on tap for Wednesday and another eight on Thursday.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, the No. 5 seed, takes on St. Catharine College at 4:30pm (CST) tomorrow.

Fans can watch the game on-line via pay-per-view at:  http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=205423235&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=27900&DB_LANG=C&IN_SUBSCRIBER_CONTENT=

Fans can watch the game on campus inside McCafferty Hall at no charge.

Scoring updates can be followed on Twitter @SAGUSportsNet.

SAGU fans can find exclusive articles, photos and news on a tournament special edition on Tumblr.com, SAGU uproar in KC.

Team Match-Up

The Lions (26-5) and Patriots (18-12) share the same colors and a penchant for offensive rebounds, but little else.

St. Catharine strength is their frontcourt while SAGU makes their impact on the play of their backcourt.

Here is a listing of team averages:

  SAGU StC
Points Per Game 82.2 81.8
Pts Yielded Per Game 72.9 76.2
Field Goal (Shooting) Percentage .417 .423
Opponent's FG Percentage .465 .453
Three-Pointers Made Per Game 10.1 4.6
3-Pt Shooting Accuracy .324 .278
Opponents 3-Pt Accuracy .293 .368
Average Free Throws Attempted 22.6 26.8
Avg. Number of Opp. FT's Att. 25.4 26.4
FT Percentage .692 .677
Opponents FT % .642 .690
Rebounds Per Game 41.8 39.0
Offensive Rebounds Per Game 14.3 15.7
Turnovers Per Game 12.9 17.2

Individually, the teams’ starting line-ups vary. The Lions quintet is as the same most every week while the Pats fifth starter fluctuates.

St. Catharine will look to gain control of the boards, which would limit the Lions transition game.

The Pride, whose 10 triples per game is the best in the 32 team field; appear to have the advantage on the perimeter.

The statistical leaders for each team include the following:

St. Catharine College Patriots

No. Player Pos Ht PPG RPG 3's FT%
45 Raymond Austin C 6'8 15.2 8.1 0 .738
0 Omar Skinner G 6'2 13.6 5.5 19 .770
1 William Tolefree F 6'6 13.5 6.2 32 .784
23 William Bailey G 6'3 8.9 3.8 10 .781
22 Taron Franklin G 6'1 8.5 1.5 30 .709
12 Chris Johnson G 6'3 7.5 2.9 9 .718
44 Julito Hutchinson F 6'5 7.5 5.6 0 .375
4 Nick Porter PG 5'11 2.1 1.2 13 .609

An injury to the team’s starting point guard gave Nick Porter the opportunity to lead the attack. He has started twelve games and has 28 assists and 40 steals.

One of their biggest wins came on January 11 when they topped the defending national champion Georgetown College, 103-90. Skinner netted 22 points while Franklin added 16.

The Patriots finished fourth in the Mid-South Conference with a 10-8 league mark. They dropped six games by nine points of less, three coming by one point.

SCC enters the game having lost three of the last four games.

They are currently ranked No. 28, though they did rise as high as No. 14 after they got off to a 10-5 start.

SAGU Lions

No. Player Pos Ht PPG RPG 3's FT%
20 Dominique Rambo G 5'10 23.6 5.0 66 .623
21 Jonathan Walter G-F 6'4 14.1 6.3 34 .575
2 Caleb Gentry G 6'0 13.0 3.9 56 .757
33 Caleb Feemster F 6'5 11.4 6.0 65 .787
32 Emmanuel Adoyi F 6'5 7.1 7.4 11 .737
12 Tyler Guidry G 5'11 6.6 2.4 27 .775
11 Daniel Mills F 6'5 6.2 2.5 19 .773
1 Andrew Erksine G 6'0 4.7 1.2 14 .776

The Lions enter the tourney in relatively good health. Feemster and Adoyi man the forward positions, while Walter plays the small forward role or the wing, depending on the opponent.

Rambo and Gentry continue to fuel the offense and defense attacks. Both players rank in the Top 12 nationally in steals.

Big wins came over then No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport, 83-72, and 89-76 at Oklahoma Baptist University in early January.

The team swept OBU and John Brown University though a pair of wins over Oklahoma City University were classic thrillers; 68-63 and 65-62.

SAGU began the year ranked No. 5. They rose to No. 1 on one occasion and never fell out of the Top 5.

The Jungle Kings won the Sooner Athletic Conference with a 17-3 mark, five games ahead of four clubs who tied at 12-8.

SAGU has won 7-of-9 as they enter the single-elimination tournament.

Second Round:  Friday 9:45pm

The winner between SAGU and SCC will advance to meet the winner between Hope International University (Cal) (22-10) and Xavier University (La) (23-8).

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.
 


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