Lady Lions' Home Debut Tonight
Southwestern picked 3rd by coaches
Coach Beadles' message to the SAGU fanbase
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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women's basketball home campaign gets underway on Monday night when the team plays host to Dallas Christian College. Tipoff is slated for 7:00pm in the Sheaffer Center.
The Lady Lions are 1-0 after defeating Hillsdale College in Moore, Oklahoma on Thursday. DCC is 0-2 following road setbacks to Wiley College and Southwestern College (Ks).
SAGU is coming off of their three best-ever seasons and finished third in the National Christian College Athletic Association's tournament last March. Under head coach Arlon Beadles, who has begun his seventh season for the Purple & Gold, the Lady Lions have gone 24-8, 25-8 and 23-13 during the past three winters.
He has invested a career rebuilding or revitalizing college programs since his college years at Southern Nazarene University (Ok). He is 87-99 in Waxahachie and has a career mark of 187-199 at four year colleges.
The program has enjoyed only four winning seasons since it began in the late 1990's. The first time they finished over .500 came under former SAGU student and player, Robbie Shay, who is now the coach at Bacone College (Ok).
Southwestern played their only game this season on Thursday night. They rolled past Hillsdale College, 62-41. Three hoopsters reached double-figures in scoring, led by sophomore Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JC, Lakeview Centennial HS), who poured in 17-points. Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS), senior, and freshman Okevia Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) each canned a dozen.
The Purple Pride broke open a 27-20 halftime lead by allowing the Saints to make only 25% of their shots.
Coach Beadles' message to SAGU Fans
“Just be patient with us,” Beadles said of his message to the Lady Lions’ strong fan base. “Let us grow up a bit. I think you’ll be proud of us when it’s all over.”
In his smooth, Southern style, Beadles said he hopes the squad continues to mesh during the season. “I’m confident we’ll be ready by the time we reach the (RRAC) tournament in March.”
The Lady Lions' style of basketball
SAGU employs one of the Red River Athletic Conference’s best defenses.
Exclusively utilizing a hybrid of the Syracuse Zone and the “Trapping Two,” or Twilight Zone, it is SAGU’s defense that provides the backbone of their winning strategy. Guards that are swift a-foot and the constant play of the frontline makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Offensively, Southwestern runs an efficient four-person passing game that is a sound compliment to the defense. It is akin to a football team that plays lights-out defensively and runs the ball on offense.
League coaches tab Langston, Wesleyan ahead of SAGU
The 13-team RRAC announced the results of its pre-season poll of coaches. To the surprise of no one, Langston University is the pick to successfully defend their series of conference championships. Jerome Willis and the 19th ranked LU Lions garnered nine of the ten first place votes.
Texas Wesleyan University was chosen as #2, a place they finished to Langston in the spring. The Lady Rams will be under a new head coach. Former Assistant Coach Bill Franey takes over the reigns this season.
The two teams split two regular season clashes, with the home team winning both games. In the RRAC tourney final, the Langston edged Wesleyan, 74-71.
Southwestern and Our Lady of the Lake University were knotted for third in the poll, with the Lady Lions getting the lone other first place ballot. Coaches cannot vote for their own team, so it came from another member school.
The Lady Saints swept both meetings in 2010, winning by 21 and 15.
The results of the poll are posted below, and include the University of St. Thomas, who will play their inaugural season this year.
Game Schedule and Broadcast Itinerary
The Purple Pride will play a 30-game schedule, with fifteen dates set for the Sheaffer Center.
Southwestern will host the annual SAGU Classic this coming weekend. They will take on Crowley's Ridge College (Ark) at 7:30pm on Friday, and then will welcome Oklahoma Christian University to the Sheaffer Center on Saturday for a 3:30pm jump. CRC and OCU are both 1-0.
Beginning with the January 7th clash with rival Langston University, the club’s final 11 home games will be broadcast by SAGU Sports Live.
2011-12 RRAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll
1. Langston University 29-6, (9) 105
2. Texas Wesleyan 28-6, 97
3. SW Assemblies of God 23-13, (1) 86
Our Lady of the Lake 20-9, 86
5. LSU-Shreveport 17-13, 82
6. Texas College 19-12, 73
7. Bacone College 19-10, 63
8. Huston-Tillotson 10-19, 51
9. Wiley College 8-21, 49
10. University of the Southwest 8-21, 40
11. Jarvis Christian 9-18, 34
University of St. Thomas 0-0, 34
13. Paul Quinn College 4-27, 19
Each team's 2010-11 record follows their team name. St. Thomas did not play last year. First place votes are in parentheses. Total voting points are on the right.