Lady Lions corral Mustangs, 61-50
Winston pours in 23, Rodriguez has double-double
SAGU builds leads of 25-2 and 40-13 at the half, coasts to win
Follow Saturday game vs No. 8 Oklahoma Wesleyan on LiveStats
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University vaulted to a 31-5 lead over Central Baptist College (Ark) on Friday and coasted to a 61-50 victory.
The easier-than-expected triumph allowed Head Coach Arlon Beadles to play his bench liberally. In fact, more reserves scored than did the starters.
SAGU improved their record to 4-3 and extended their series lead over CBC to 6-2.
Senior guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS) had the hot hand in the first half, scoring on numerous breakaway baskets. She also knocked down three-pointers en route to a 40-13 lead at intermission.
The Lady Lions had their way with the Mustangs from the start, grabbing the reigns of a 25-2 lead just eight minutes into the game.
Winston (fourth in SAC scoring at 15.8 ppg) finished with 23 points, including three triples and five assists.
Another key performer was Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS), the junior wing. She reached double figures in two categories, connecting on 5-of-11 shots for 12 points and latching onto 10 rebounds.
Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) continues to contribute off the bench. The 6'0 senior netted six points and four rebounds in just eight minutes of playing time. She also had an assist and a steal.
Senior Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS), limited to ten minutes due to foul trouble, still managed to reel in eight rebounds.
Central Baptist reduced their turnovers in the second half and, combined with the Lady Lions cooling off, outscored SAGU by a 37-21 margin.
The final score was as close as they came to threatening.
SAGU shot 39% from the floor while limiting the opposition to 29%. The team is ranked No. 5 in the NAIA in defensive field goal percentage (.308).
Their defense controlled the boards, 45-35, forced 21 turnovers and had a 13-3 advantage in steals. Sophomore Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) swiped the ball three times.
Purple Pride scores 22 straight points
Winston took a pass from Hill and drained the game’s first shot, a three-ball, just twenty-eight seconds after the opening tip.
A Rodriguez rebound triggered a fastbreak deuce by Winston. It also sparked 22 unanswered points for complete control of the game.
Rodriguez stole the ball on the Mustangs’ next possession and fed Winston for a 7-2 lead.
Freshman forward Laken Ward (Hattieville, Ark / Wonderview HS) began another transition play with a board and an outlet pass to Winston, who spotted Rodriguez for a 3-bomb.
Winston quickly turned a steal into an easy layup by Hill for a 12-2 lead. You get the idea.
Back-to-back jacks by Winston and Hill turned the game into an early blowout. Their consecutive threes made it 18-2.
Rodriquez cashed in on her own miss before a play that typified SAGU’s standout performance.
The ever-active Rodriguez pilfered the ball and zipped it to Winston on the fly. Her attempt at a trey was off the mark.
Roberts claimed the carom off of the offensive glass and fired a pass to Winston.
She located Rodriguez alone on the perimeter. Her trifecta ripped the nets!
Following a steal by Hill, Winston dashed inside for a hoop. The lead had swollen to 25-2. The large lead allowed the team to withstand a cold second half.
The victory was SAGU's sixth in a row of the team from Conway, Ark.
On Deck: OKWU on Saturday at 6:00pm
Next up for SAGU is No. 8 ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan University. They will meet the Lady Eagles on Saturday at 6:00pm (CST) on their home court in Bartlesville (46 miles north of Tulsa).
OWU pulled away from a 30-23 lead at intermission to defeat Bethany College (Ks), 67-45, on Friday night. They played 18 players with no one getting more than nineteen minutes of playing time.
Follow the game on LiveStats: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamPage.aspx?association=10&sg=WBB&sea=NAIWBB_2013&team=299. (click on the webcast (((W))) icon)
SAGU's next home game is against No. 2 ranked team in NAIA
Team Lioness returns home after the Thanksgiving break to begin their first season in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC).
On Thursday, December 5, they entertain Oklahoma City University, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.