Shaqless Lions fall to John Brown
Lugo, Winston lead the offensive charge
SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas -- Sophomore Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) scored 12 points, including a pair of three-point baskets, but it wasn’t enough as Southwestern Assemblies of God University fell to John Brown University on Saturday, 60-36.
Minus Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS), who suffered an ankle injury the night before during a 60-42 loss to College of the Ozarks (Mo), the Lions were Shaq-less and toothless on the interior. They missed her defensive intensity and her nation-leading shot-blocking.
The Golden Eagles built a 38-15 lead at the half and coasted to victory.
The team did, however, play hard til the end. They owned a 10-8 edge in offensive boards and forced 16 turnovers. SAGU (3-3) and John Brown (3-2) were even on the boards, each grabbing 35 rebounds. Neither team shot particularly well, the Lions making only 27% (13 of 47), JBU just 40% (18 of 45).
The young Lions backcourt turned the ball over 17 of the team’s 25 times, and the lack of an inside game was the difference. It was the Lady Lions third straight defeat after opening the season with three consecutive wins.
Lugo made four of her nine shots, two-of-three beyond the arc, to pace the offense. Sophomore Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) added 10 points. She had three steals and six boards, but struggled offensively (3-of-15) against as the focus of the Golden Eagles’ defense.
Sophomore Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) netted five points and led the unit with three assists. Sophomore Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) came off the bench to net four points. She grabbed seven boards, four on the offensive end, in 19 minutes.
Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) had a game-high nine rebounds to improve her season average to 8.0 per game. Click here to access the NAIA’s DAK Stats on the team and player statistics.
John Brown, 20-12 last year, was led by Jessica Berlin, a 5’9 guard. She poured in a season-high 23-points, powered by a 7-of-12 effort beyond the arc. The Eagles connected on half of their 24 tries from three-point range. Her partner in the backcourt was Sierra Shipley, also 5’9. She drained 3-of-5 from downtown as she bucketed 14 points. The pair is currently averaging 15.4 and 11.2.
Southwestern has two weeks off before the start of the Red River Athletic Conference season. They travel to Muskogee, Oklahoma for a December 3 date against Bacone College (3-1). The Lady Warriors were 19-10 a year ago.
SAGU plays their next home game on Monday, Dec. 5, versus University of the Southwest (4-1).
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