Women Hoopsters win, now 3-0
SAGU tops Crowley's Ridge, 57-40
Winston glows with 20-points; Roberts blocks nine shots
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Led by a defense that forced forty turnovers, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team defeated Crowley’s Ridge College, 57-40, on Friday night.
It was the second contest during the annual SAGU Classic, which saw Oklahoma Christian University outlast LSU-Shreveport, 87-84, in the opener.
The Lady Lions forced CRC into coughing up the ball 21 times in the first half as they built a 30-14 lead at intermission. SAGU’s margin swelled to 48-24 and they coasted the rest of the way.
It was not a textbook display by either team in terms of making open jumpers or converting layups. In fact, Southwestern shot only 34% from the floor, including 5-of-20 from beyond the arc. On the foul line they missed 10-of-14 attempts.
The Lady Pioneers won the battle of the boards, 39-35, a testament to a young team playing in their first season.
For the Purple Pride, the difference was on the defensive end. Their zone allowed Crowley’s Ridge to make just 26% of their tries. Drea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) picked Pioneer pocket six times to lead the ballhawking attack that combined for 23 steals. It was the second solid effort in a row for Lugo (LOO-go), who poured in 16-points in the team’s 62-41 win over Dallas Christian College on Monday.
Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) had four thefts as well.
Shaq, Winston standout with noteworthy play
And then there was Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS), the 6-foot junior Sultan of Swat. She erased a total of nine would-be baskets, while Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) rejected two. The co-captains were the only real presence inside for SAGU, grabbing 10 and seven rebounds respectively.
English writer Rosemary Jarman penned a phrase, “glowed like sunshine in honey,” that could well describe how Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial) played on Friday. Nia (NEE-ah) led all scorers, pouring in 20 points, often with dashing drives or jump shots from the perimeter. She stroked three triples in the process.
Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) netted 11, and Courtney Bolding (Austin, Tx / Howard Payne Univ, Akins HS) powered in another seven in twelve minutes. In all, nine players saw ten minutes or more of court time, as head coach Arlon Beadles worked to develop his club’s depth.
The Lady Lions' 3-0 start is the team’s best since they began the 2008 campaign with five straight wins.
SAGU brakes meet Oklahoma Christian's accelerator
They will likely need it at 3:30pm on Saturday when they will face an entirely differently challenge against Oklahoma Christian. Their head coach, Stephanie Findley , has installed “the system” this season, and its’ breakneck pace will entertain and frustrate statisticians.
Her Eagles apply fullcourt pressure the entire game, and run the floor as though each possession is against a 15 second shot clock. Their high-velocity style requires mass substitutions every sixty seconds, almost as frequently as hockey.
In their opener against Texas Wesleyan University, they hit their first four shots, all three-pointers, en route to 68 first half points. OCU won 110-94 over the team rated #2 in the Red River Athletic Conference.
The SAGU Classic starts with a 1:30 match between Crowley's Ridge and LSU-Shreveport.