Last second free throw costs SAGU
Lady Lions drop 56-55 decision to Tillotson
Cox, Harvatin, Winston reach double-figures
AUSTIN, Texas -- An accidental foul in the backcourt sent Huston-Tillotson University to the foul line where they eked out a 56-55 win tonight over Southwestern Assemblies of God University in women’s college basketball.
The game was the opener for both teams in the Red River Athletic Conference 's 22-game season.
Trailing by a point in the final minute of the game, SAGU fouled to send the host Rams to the foul line. HT made one of two tries for a 55-53 lead.
The Lady Lions scored the equalizer when freshman guard Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) took the inbounds pass and dashed the length of the court for a layup with eight seconds left in the game.
Ariel Callis, a sophomore forward, was fouled purposefully by a Lady Lion, thinking SAGU still trailed by a point. Callis, who entered the game making 59% from the charity stripe, swished the first of two tries with 1.95 seconds on the clock.
It settled a gridlocked game that was a close as pennies in your pocket.
Nip and tuck throughout, the contest was also knotted at intermission at 26-apiece. Neither team could distance themselves in a game destined for a last-second hero.
Tillotson had dropped five straight games until tonight. They turned loose a fullcourt man-to-man defense that squeezed the Lady Lions backcourt into 32 turnovers.
It was the most in a game since the team had 32 in a 73-64 road loss to league champion Langston University (30-4) last February, a span of 13 games.
The miscues enabled the Lady Rams to win a game in which SAGU outshot and outrebounded them. The giveaways translated into more possessions, allowing Tillotson to attempt 58 shots compared to 44 for SAGU.
Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) paced the team with 13 points and nine rebounds. The sophomore center also collected four steals before fouling out.
Sophomore forward Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS) connected on six of ten shots for 12 points. It was her best effort since bucketing 11 against College of the Ozarks (33-4) in a 60-42 tournament loss to the Bobcats last season.
Junior court-leader Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JC, Lakeview Centennial HS) battled through a tough night to score 11, including six-of-six from the foul line. She totaled six rebounds and was credited with three assists.
Hill finished with seven points. Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) added six while also claiming five boards.
SAGU made 45% of their shots (20-of-44) and hit 13 of 21 free throws. Tillotson was good on 23 of 58 attempts for 40%. On the foul line they netted just eight of twenty, though the last was the one that counted most.
HT was led by forward Danielle Franklin, who topped all scorers with 18. Erica Cray contributed 17, stroking 7 of 11 free throws.
The loss dropped SAGU to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the RRAC. Huston-Tillotson improved to 2-5 and 1-1. The Lady Rams lost to Wiley College to start the season.
SAGU plays at home on Saturday at 2:00pm
The Purple Pride returns to the court on Saturday, December 1, when they play host to Jarvis Christian College at 2:00pm. It will be the team’s fourth game in six days.
In their last meeting in Waxahachie, the Lady Lions lost a late lead in regulation in a 53-46 overtime setback.
Jarvis is currently 0-3 after slipping against Wiley College tonight, 78-66, in Hawkins, Texas.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.