Lady Lions face 'Cats in hoops matinee
SAGU battles for tourney berth
Shaquita Roberts can win national title in blocks
MARSHALL, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University has a pair of important college basketball games on tap this weekend, starting with an afternoon tilt against Wiley College.
Facing the school that was the focus in the 2007 film, “The Great Debaters,” the Lions will have their hands full against a team that won’t need the inspiration of actor Denzel Washington to compete.
SAGU will face a revenge-minded Wildcats (19-9, 15-8 in RRAC) team at 2:00pm inside the Alumni Gym. The teams met on January 12, with the Lady Lions stunning Wiley with a late surge, 63-59.
The ‘Cats, under first year head coach Courtney Pruitt, have won 10-of-14 games since.
Team Lioness dominated the boards, 41-25, and limited Wiley to 33% shooting in their impressive win a month ago.
Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS) had 18-points and 13 rebounds in that game, while Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) and Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) netted 16 and 13 points respectively.
Roberts is currently the #2 shot blocker in the nation. She has a chance to win the title this weekend, which includes the regular-season home finale on Monday, Feb. 27 against Houston’s St. Thomas (7-21, 4-18 RRAC).
The 6-foot junior has redirected 104 shots in 27 games, an average of 3.85 per game. She trails Alice Honnery, of the University of Mobile (Ala), who has 107 in 27.
The UM Rams (7-20) have one remaining game, tonight, at Loyola University (La) (22-4).
Roberts is averaging 8.1 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per contest, which ranks #11 in the NAIA. Coincidentally, Honnery scores 15.1 ppg and grabs 10.7 boards rpg, a #10 rating nationally. As a freshman, Roberts had 99 blocks to finish #5 at 3.2 bpg as a freshman in 2008-09.
Should Honnery collect her average of four blocks against the Wolfpack this evening, Roberts would need to swat 11 in the final two games to pass her. She had six blocks against Wiley and five versus St. Thomas in their previous meetings.
What could prevent Roberts from achieving the feat is that she recently moved from center to forward. The new position moves her further from the basket, resulting in less opportunities. She has blocked 10 shots in the six games since the move.
Vying for the final playoff spot
The Lady Lions are battling two other teams for the final position in next week’s Red River Athletic Conference tournament. At 9-19 overall and 6-16 against teams in the RRAC, SAGU holds the tie-breaker should they finish the regular season tied with Bacone College (11-18, 6-17 in RRAC) and/or Huston-Tillotson University (6-21, 6-17 RRAC). (See standings below)
If the Purple Pride earns the berth in the single-elimination tourney, they would open against #1 seeded Langston University (27-2, 21-2 RRAC) on Friday, March 2.
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Leading Point Producers
The Lions top scorers heading into the game include: Winston 13.9 ppg, Roberts 8.1, Rodriguez 8.1, Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) 7.7 and Keevie Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) at 3.5.
SAGU has had nine different players reach double-figures in a game this season. They’ll need to light up the scoreboard with a performance similar to January’s to topple the Wildcats in a city known for its light shows.
SAGU averages 52.7 points per outing, which is 13th in the RRAC. Wiley pours in 77.9, ranking fourth. Defensively, however, Southwestern allows 58.5 ppg (2nd) compared to the Cats’ 65.0 (6th).
The Wildcats top scorers are Chinwindu Mbah (11.3), Shakendra Moore (10.9) and Alieshia Carruthers (9.9).
Southwestern will honor two seniors at Monday’s 5:30pm clash against the University of St. Thomas; Bruner and guard Tina Brown (New Braunfels, Tx / Lifegate Christian).
It will also be the last broadcast on SAGU SPORTS Live of the Lady Lions. Only the tournament's championship games (March 5) will be broadcast by SSL. All tournament games will, however, be available via LiveStats.
|RV||Our Lady of the Lake||17-5||.773||22-6||.786||3.5||12-1||10-5||0-0||Lost 1|
|Texas Wesleyan||17-5||.773||22-6||.786||3.5||12-2||10-4||0-0||Lost 1|
|Jarvis Christian||15-8||.652||15-8||.652||6.0||8-3||7-5||0-0||Lost 1|
|Texas College||10-12||.455||10-17||.370||10.5||5-7||5-8||0-2||Won 2|
|SW Assemblies of God||6-16||.273||9-19||.321||14.5||6-8||3-10||0-1||Lost 6|
|Paul Quinn||5-17||.227||6-22||.214||15.5||5-10||1-12||0-0||Lost 6|
|St. Thomas - Houston||4-18||.182||7-21||.250||16.5||5-9||2-12||0-0||Lost 1|