Lady Lions caged by Saints
Good start foiled by 29 turnovers
Bruner double-double, Winston's 18-pts lead Cats
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Monday night in the Mission City revealed both the hopes and fears of a young college basketball team mixing a new salad. A lot of yummy ingredients, but much of them are green.
The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team showed flashes of the team they hope to become while exhibiting the growing pains that have thwarted their chances to win in the season’s first 10 games.
They led several times in the early stages of their game against Our Lady of the Lake University (8-2, 5-1 in RRAC), but a rash of turnovers turned a positive start into a sudden deficit during an 83-58 defeat at the hands of the Lady Saints. It was their third consecutive loss to OLLU.
SAGU, who started the season with three straight wins, has now dropped seven in a row. The Lady Lions, 3-7 overall and 0-4 in the Red River Athletic Conference, find themselves in an unusual position. They are 13th in a league with that many members.
After winning 24, 25 and 23 games in the past three seasons, the rebuilding Lady Lions’ first semester is their slowest in four years. They were 2-9 at the holiday break in 2007 en route to a 6-23 campaign.
A 26-8 surge by OLLU broke open a close game late in the first half. By intermission they held a commanding 46-28 lead. OLLU scored the first basket in the second stanza and the Lions never drew closer than 20-points the rest of the way. The host Halos extended their lead to 72-40 on a Chelsea Solis three-ball with 7:39 remaining.
SAGU had two early leads, were tied at 13, and still within at 20-18 at the 9:11 mark. A steal by Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) set up Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) at the high post. She pitched to Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) on the wing. She ripped the nylon to draw to within 20-18.
After making 40% of their shots in the first half, SAGU connected on only seven of 31 (22%) after intermission. They made five of their twenty tries from beyond the arc. For the game, SAGU was successful on 30% of their attempts. Our Lady hit 35%.
The difference was ball control. Southwestern gave the ball away 29 times, compared to 17 by the Saints. The extra possessions for OLLU were parlayed into 22 more shots (78-56).
Foul trouble shackles Shaq
Foul trouble was a factor as well. Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS), the cog in the defensive wheel, fouled out in 19 minutes. The finesse player was held in check by the shrill of official’s whistles, finishing with seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Her absence allowed the Saints to reel in 25 offensive boards.
Okievia Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) and Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) also managed less than twenty minutes before fouls ended their game.
The team did shoot better on the foul line (19-of-30) and continued their solid rebounding (OLLU 51, SAGU 49).
The veteran Saints’ bench kept the pressure on Southwestern, outscoring their counterparts by a 40-17 margin.
Arlene Cisneros was the star of the game. The substitute hit six three-pointers and scored 24 points in 20 minutes without making a single turnover.
SAGU was led by the sophomore guard Winston, who accounted for a team-high 18 points. She drained a trio of triples and was 5-of-6 on the charity stripe.
Senior anchor Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) had a double-double. She netted 11 points and staked her claim to 11 boards. Bruner (BREW-ner) was 4-of-7 from the field, 3-of-3 in free throws and was one of four players to share honors with two assists.
Hankins registered six points, seven caroms and a blocked shot in 17 minutes.
Upcoming games for the Purple Pride
Following the Christmas season, the Lady Lions return to the hardcourt in January. They will take on their top two rivals in Texas Wesleyan University (6-2, 2-1 RRAC) on Jan. 5 and no. 7 ranked Langston University (10-0, 4-0 RRAC) two days later.
The LU game will be at home. It also begins the HD broadcasts of SAGU SPORTS Live.