Lady Lions comeback wilts, 48-37
Defense rates #11 in the nation
SAGU is now in battle for tournament berth
HAWKINS, Texas -- Sophomore guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) spearheaded a Southwestern Assemblies of God University second half comeback that came up short in a 48-37 loss at the hands of Jarvis Christian College.
Winston led an offense that struggled to overcome a frigid first half and nearly finished a strong rally. As is oft the case, it was the SAGU defense that kept them in the game as they held a team under 50 points for the ninth time this season.
Coach Arlon Beadles' defense limits enemy shooters to making only .349 of their shots, which ranks #11 of the NAIA's 112 teams in Division I. In terms of points allowed, entering the game the Lady Lions permit the opposition to score 61.4 points per game, which rates 37th. Impressive figures for a team in a rebuilding year.
The Lady Lions chopped an eight-point deficit to two, 37-35, with five minutes left in the game.
Jarvis regrouped and outscored SAGU 11-2 down the stretch, forcing seven turnovers while allowing one basket. The Lady Bulldogs grabbed five offensive rebounds in the final five minutes to keep control of both the ball and the lead.
The win moved Jarvis into a tie with Wiley College for fifth in the Red River Athletic Conference. Both teams are 13-7 in the league with just four games to play. Jarvis is also 13-7 overall. It was their sixth win in eight games and their second best defensive effort since permitting St. Thomas to score only 32 last month.
SAGU is in eighth place at 6-14 in the RRAC and are 9-17 in all games. It was the Lady Lions fourth loss in a row and fifth-in-six-games. They lead Bacone College (10-16, 6-15 in RRAC) by one-half game in the race to qualify for a spot in the conference tournament in two weeks. (See the "Race for Eighth" below)
Key games that affected both teams tonight were Texas Wesleyan’s 78-71 win at Wiley College and Bacone falling at Our Lady of the Lake, 91-64.
SAGU shot better from beyond the arc (3-of-8) than closer (2-of-17) during a first half that saw the team connect on 20% of their 25 shots. Thanks a defensive effort that allowed Jarvis to make just 8-of-26 (30%), the Purple Pride was within 21-18 at the half.
Each team’s offensive production was better in the second stanza; SAGU was 8-of-23 (35%), the Bulldogs 10-27, 37%. JCC owned a 16-10 margin on the offensive glass and 39-32 overall.
Free throws were not a deciding factor. The Lions swished seven of nine tries compared to 8-of-17 for the host ‘Dawgs. Committing more than twenty turnovers cost Southwestern continuity and possession of the ball.
Winston paced SAGU with 11-points, hitting all four of her free throws and one triple. Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) scored seven, including a pair of threes and a team-high nine rebounds.
Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) netted six points and grabbed seven boards, while making two steals and a team-high two assists. Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) added six points and three caroms. ‘Drea fired a trey, which was one of four for the squad.
Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS), suffering from the effects of the flu, totaled five points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks. Keevie Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) collected three steals to help spur the second half defensive charge.
The Lady Bulldogs had standout performances from three players; Ivory Russell 16 points and 16 rebounds, Marsharae Brown 15 and 11, Dee (Dinilesizwe) Love 11 points and two trifectas.
Russell, a 6’2 sophomore, had a game-high six offensive boards while Brown, a 5’10 senior, added three. Love’s game also featured four steals and five assists.
Southwestern has a tall order on hand in their next game when they entertain LSU-Shreveport (20-6, 18-2 RRAC) at 5:30pm on Saturday, February 18. The Lady Pilots have claimed wins in 14 of their past 15 games. Both of their conference setbacks came against Langston University (24-2, 18-2).
Race for Eighth** - between SAGU and BC
SAGU (9-17, 6-14): 3h, 1a
Feb. 18 vs LSU-Shreveport (20-6, 18-2 RRAC). L 37-63
Feb. 20 vs Texas College (8-16, 8-11 RRAC). L 57-59
Feb. 25 at Wiley College (17-8, 13-7 RRAC). W 63-59
Feb. 27 vs St. Thomas (6-19, 4-16 RRAC). W 54-46
Combined Overall Winning Pct.: 51% (51-49)
Bacone College (10-16, 6-15): 2h, 2a
Feb. 18 at Huston-Tillotson (5-20, 5-16 RRAC). W 75-70
Feb. 20* vs Univ of the Southwest (8-19, 3-18 RRAC). W 101-90
Feb. 23* vs Crowley’s Ridge College W 88-62
Feb. 25 at Texas Wesleyan (20-5, 15-4 RRAC). L 55-86
Combined Winning Pct.: 43% (33-44), excludes CRC as a non-conference foe.
*Played at the Muskogee Civic Center. Warriors are 2-0 there this year.
**The top eight teams (there are 13 in the RRAC) qualify for the conference tournament, which is host at SAGU on March 2-3 and 5. The women's and men's championship games will be broadcast on SAGU TV on Monday, March 5.
Score on the right is the result from their first meeting.