Lady Lions build 37-point lead, coast to 88-68 win
Ward, Winston, Rodriguez ignite SAGU victory
Team takes 6-4 record into Christmas break
Box Score (link posted below)
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University built a 37-point lead and coasted to an 88-68 triumph over Arlington Baptist College in a match-up of 5-4 teams.
The Lady Lions led from start to finish with 13 players producing points.
Head Coach Arlon Beadles' squad put together several runs to put distance between Team Purple and the Patriots. An 11-0 streak pushed their lead to 51-29. Fifteen unanswered points in the second half made the score 71-34.
They were living large and in-charge.
SAGU, now 6-4, extended a 40-29 with a huge 31-5 surge to rout the Lady Patriots. Three players fueled the run.
Senior guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS ) scored 10 of her 17 points in that eleven minute stretch of play, while senior center Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS) and junior forward Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) each netted seven points.
Arlington Baptist finished the game by upping the defensive pressure, forcing a rash of turnovers.
Lady Lion reserves made 17 of the team’s 28 turnovers, allowing the Pats to outscore SAGU 34-17 over the last nine minutes.
Winston overcame a cold shooting effort by continuing to attack the ABC interior. Drawing fouls, she cashed in at the foul line, wristing 10-of-11 attempts.
The second leading scorer in the Sooner Athletic Conference had scored 20 or more points in four straight games prior to Monday’s game.
Perhaps the Purple Pride’s best performer was freshman Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS).
She poured in nine points in the first seven minutes and twenty seconds. After knocking down a pair of free throws, she scored inside, was fouled and swished the and-one for an 18-4 lead.
The 5-foot-10 forward registered her first double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds, five on the offensive glass.
Added to that, Ward had two assists, two steals and blocked a shot.
Arlington Baptist made several bids to get back in the game, drawing to within 21-13 and again at 36-27. They struggled to maintain their scoring runs.
Each time the hosts answered with big baskets by Rodriguez, Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) and a trey from Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian).
To their credit, the Lady Pats remained competitive by firing in 14 three-pointers and 14-of-18 free throws.
Particularly effective was sophomore Morgan Hale. The 5-foot-6 guard led all scorers with 30 points, 18 of them after halftime.
She finished 7-of-26 from the field, all of them beyond the arc. Two appeared to be shot from beyond the planet.
Though not on fire, she did score in bunches. She also converted all nine of her free throw tries and had three assists. Hale entered the game averaging 19 ppg.
Leah Rangel tossed in 10 points. Diminutive Shanice Hill contributed six assists and a pair of triples. She also had a game high five steals.
What sunk any aspiration of an upset was rebounding, where SAGU dominated, 53-25. It led to the Lady Lions shooting 52% from the field.
Rodriguez had her aim sharp and her game precise. She popped seven-of-nine shots, one from the corner, for 15 points.
The winger added four boards and three steals – all in just twenty-one minutes of playing time.
Roberts’ line included nine points, nine rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocked shots... all in just sixteen minutes.
Ever energetic, Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) made half of her eight tosses, passed three helpers and notched four thefts to lead the defense.
Griffin, a 5’10 junior forward, swished all three of her shots; one from the corner giving Team Lioness a 28-13 advantage.
Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS) snared four rebounds and rejected one shot in six minutes.
The home game was SAGU’s first in over five weeks.
The team returns to the court the first week in January where they will begin the 20-game league schedule in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
The road gets markedly tougher. SAGU starts with six games in twelve days, three against nationally ranked teams.
Saturday, January 4, marks the team’s next appearance in the Sheaffer Center. They will host No. 28 Mid-America Christian Center, 8-1, in a 3:00pm matinee.
All home games will be broadcast in HD on SAGU Sports Live.
Current Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/5.php
Box Score: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/BoxScores/BoxScores.aspx?association=10&sg=WBB&sea=NAIWBB_2013&team=299&compID=169994
Mid-Season SAGU Player Stats: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/IndividualStats.aspx?association=10&sg=WBB&sea=NAIWBB_2013&team=299