Women's Hoops vs Texas College tonight
Lady Lions seek RRAC tourney berth
Preview of High Stakes Showdown
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The college basketball season is not coasting down the stretch. It is actually winding up, not down!
The women’s team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has three remaining games in the regular season. Tonight and next Monday, February 27, are the final two home dates.
Next Saturday they will be in East Texas to face Wiley College in a matinee duel. Team Lioness surprised the Wildcats (18-8, 14-7 in RRAC), 63-59, in perhaps their best effort of the season.
The young Lions had dropped their first seven conference games before stunning the 'Cats with a late surge.
This evening at 5:30pm, the Lady Lions, who are battling four teams for the final two spots in the eight-team Red River Athletic Conference tournament, take on 7th place Texas College in the Sheaffer Center.
About the only thing the squads have in common are their purple and gold colors.
About the 'Horns
The Lady Steers (8-17, 8-12 in RRAC) won the first meeting at 'the Gus' Taylor Gym in Tyler, 59-57. They forced SAGU into 35 turnovers, which negated the fact Southwestern won the battle of the boards, 34-24. The Lions outscored them in basket points, 52-43, but the home team swished 16-of-25 free throws to SAGU’s 5-of-9.
Head Coach Jennifer Pillich, in her fourth year in the City of Roses, has her team gearing up to secure a place in the tourney. They love to run an up-tempo style that averages almost 15 more points per game than SAGU.
They are not, however, a team that beats opponents from beyond the arc. They make only 1.4 threes per outing, which is last in the league. Southwestern is eighth at 4.1.
The Lady Steers’ M.O. is clear; they pound the boards. Only Langston University (48.7) and Our Lady of the Lake (45.7) average more rebounds than Texas College (44.8), who also get their share on the offensive glass (16.3 per game). The Lady Lions are eighth in rebounding (39.5).
Fans should keep an eye on sophomore guard Shirley McGowen. The 5-foot-4 dynamo leads the Steers in both scoring and rebounding. SAGU held her in check in January, as her six points were a low-water mark in her season. In the eleven games since, she has reached double-figures eight times, eclipsing twenty on four occasions while averaging 15.5.
“Our team has grown closer and tougher all season,” Coach Pillich said. “We’ve played in a number of tight games, and it has made us battle-tested. We are aiming to finish strong, though we have our work cut out for us.”
Her team has been involved in 10 games that have been decided by 10-points or less, and they have won half of them.
Coach Arlon Beadles, the Lady Lions veteran hand, has seen his rebuilding squad play in 14 close games, winning six.
SAGU’s trademark is their zone defense. They surrender 60.8 ppg while Texas College yields 74.2 The Purple Pride is tough on enemy shooters, as they connect on .348 of their shots, which ranks #10 in the nation.
Offensively, the cog in the team’s wheel is clearly Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS). The sophomore has been scoring at a 15.1 ppg clip during the past fifteen outings in which she was in double-digits 14 times.
The contrast in styles could mean another tightrope for the winner to navigate.
SAGU trails Texas College by three games in the loss column. The Lions are tied with Bacone College and Huston-Tillotson University. Both are 6-16 in the Red River. Southwestern (6-15) leads them by a half-game. Only one of the three will see post-season life. (See their remaining schedules below)
SAGU (9-18, 6-15 in RRAC)
Feb. 20 Home -vs- Texas College (8-17, 8-12), 5:30pm
Feb. 25 Away -vs- Wiley College (18-8, 14-7), 2:00pm
Feb. 27 Home -vs- St. Thomas (6-20, 4-17), 5:30pm
Opponents Combined Record/Winning Percentage: 32-45 .416
Bacone College (10-17, 6-16 in RRAC)
Feb. 20 Home -vs- Univ of the Southwest (8-20, 3-19), 5:30pm
Feb. 23 Home -vs- *Crowley’s Ridge College (Ark), 5:30pm
Feb. 25 Away -vs- Texas Wesleyan (21-5, 16-4), 5:30pm
RRAC Opponents Combined Record/Winning Percentage: 29-25 .537
Huston-Tillotson (6-20, 6-16 in RRAC)
Feb. 20 Away -vs- Langston (25-2, 19-2), 5:30pm
Feb. 22 Away -vs- **University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith (17-7), 7:00pm Exhibition
Feb. 27 Home -vs- Texas Wesleyan (21-5, 16-4), 5:30pm
RRAC Opponents Combined Record/Winning Percentage: 46-7 .868
NOTE: Each of the three teams split their games against one another
**NCAA Division II