Lady Pilots pull away from SAGU
Lions' two-game win streak ends
Jarvis visits the Sheaffer Center on Saturday
SHREVEPORT, Louisiana -- Gabby Bruner and Nia (NEE-ya) Winston scored 10 points apiece and Shaquita Roberts reeled in seven rebounds but it couldn’t prevent nationally ranked Louisiana State University-Shreveport from handing Southwestern Assemblies of God University a 63-37 defeat in women’s basketball tonight.
The loss broke a two-game winning streak by SAGU, who fell to 5-11 overall. They remain one game out of eighth place in the Red River Athletic Conference with a 2-8 mark. The top eight teams qualify for the league’s post-season tournament, which will be hosted at SAGU the first weekend in March.
LSU-Shreveport, who never trailed in the game, improved to 11-5 in all games and 9-1 in league play. It was their fifth consecutive triumph. Earlier in the day the Lady Pilots received enough votes in the NAIA’s weekly Top 25 Coaches Poll to come in at #30. Langston University (17-0) is the nation’s lone unbeaten team. They are ranked #5.
The young Lady Lions continued to make progress in spite of the losing margin.
“We moved the ball very well,” said first year Assistant Coach Ryan Russ. “We took much better care of the ball, cut our turnovers in half and got plenty of good looks at the basket. We just couldn’t shoot the ball.”
Give the credit to the Lady Pilots, who are third best in the Red River in field goal defense. They allow opposing shooters to make just 36% of their attempts. On Monday they force SAGU into missing 41 of their 55 tries, a 26% point effort.
Team Lioness did well in their own right, limiting LSUS to 23-of-60 shooting (38%). Southwestern is #2 in the RRAC in shooting defense at 34%. In the game’s first 13 minutes, Head Coach Arlon Beadles’ squad held the home team to only 16 points.
But in the final 6:15 the Lions grip slipped. LSUS broke the game open with 19 points for a commanding 35-17 advantage. SAGU, who has been averaging over 25 turnovers per game, committed only four in the first half.
Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) assisted a bucket from Bruner, then stole the ball and parlayed it into a layup with 11:42 remaining. A deuce by Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian) and a pair of Winston free throws drew Team Purp to within 15 at 44-29 with 8:23 to play.
They would get no closer as the Pilots motored their way to a 19-8 finish with their largest lead coming on their final basket. Even with three turnovers in their last four possessions, SAGU made just 14. Their season low was against Dallas Christian College when they coughed it up 13 times.
Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) stood out as the senior converted 5-of-11 shots, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot.
Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) struggled to find the range, though she countered by netting all six free throws to equal Bruner’s 10 points.
Lugo and Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) added four apiece. Lugo (LEW-go), like Robin Hood, led by making three thefts and three helpers (assists).
Others to produce points included Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Bryon Steele HS), with 3, while Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian), Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS) and Brown tossed in two apiece.
As a team the Lady Lions failed to connect on any of their 17 bids from outside the arc, though they did knock down nine of eleven foul shots.
LSU-Shreveport, who outboarded SAGU 44-36, helped their own cause by swishing 8-of-16 triples.
A balanced attack spurred coach Ronnie Howell’s River Runners; Sharde (SHAR-day) Henry 15, Jenna Diakos 14, Christy Willis 10, Brittany Maddox with nine. Diakos had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Home game on Saturday versus Jarvis Christian
SAGU’s next appearance on the hard-court is this Saturday, January 21, when they play host to Jarvis Christian College. The Lady Bulldogs, from Hawkins, Texas (120 miles east of Dallas) are currently 6-4 overall and in the RRAC.
The contest is set for a 5:30pm (CST) opening jump. The contest will be available in a HD broadcast on SAGU TV, starting with a pre-game show at 5:15pm. A text-oriented version of the accounts of the game, called Live Stats, can also be accessed by fans.
The teams split last winter with the road teams winning.