Lady Lions foiled by cold start at No. 9 OBU
Winston leads with 14-points in road setback
Pride hosts MACU on Sat; game aired by SAGU Sports Live
Box Score and Standings links below
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- Cold shooting and a slow start against the No. 9 ranked team in the NAIA was too much to overcome for Southwestern Assemblies of God University on Thursday night.
Despite 14-points from senior guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS , Panola JC), SAGU fell to Oklahoma Baptist University, 75-40, in the Sooner Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The Lady Lions (6-5, 0-1 in SAC) connected on just one of their first twelve shots.
But they battled to stay in the game when Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian ) drained a three-pointer from the right side to trail 17-11 at the midway point in the first half.
SAGU rode a good start by freshman forward Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS ). She gave the team their only lead in the opening minutes en route to five quick points and five rebounds.
Ward finished with a team-high eight boards, half of them on the offensive glass.
Five triples over the next ten minutes fueled a 24-9 run as OBU took charge.
The host Bison (9-2, 1-0 in SAC) ripped the nets on 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc in the first half to establish a 41-20 margin at intermission.
A steal by Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS ) led to a fastbreak basket by Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS ) to open the second half. The Lady Lions could never make a second half run.
OBU answered by scoring the next 13 points to open up a 54-22 lead with 16:08 left in the game. They controlled the boards, 50-39, and forced SAGU into 24 turnovers.
"We missed too many layups in the first half," said Arlon Beadles, the Lady Lions Head Coach. "Eight of them. Their 6'4 young lady in the middle really changed our shots."
"Missing layups combined with a cold shooting night against a great team will get you beat every time."
Winston and Hill each netted three baskets and were credited with two steals apiece to lead the team. Hill tossed in seven points.
Ward added five points while Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS ) and Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS ) registered four.
Roberts and Hill both had six rebounds.
The anticipated match-up of two of the league’s best shot blockers, Roberts and OBU’s 6’4 Zbeyda Aremi, was worth the focus. Roberts swatted three. Aremi rejected five.
The Lady Lions swished only 23% of their shots (12-of-53) as OBU turned in their best defensive effort of the season. SAGU’s starting quintet helped their cause by sinking 12 of 15 from the foul line. They were led by Winston’s 7-of-9.
After the home team shot 52% in the first half, SAGU held them to 34% in the second half. Their total of 42% included 10-of-20 beyond the arc.
OBU's 5'8 guard Charity Fowler, the SAC’s most recent Player of the Week, bucketed 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds – both game highs.
Lady Lions take on MACU in Saturday matinee
SAGU will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host Mid-America Christian University at 3:00pm. The Lady Evangels are 9-3 overall and 3-0 in league games.
MACU has four players averaging 10 or more points per game.
The game will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live. Host Rob Price and color man Tim Roberts will bring the action, starting with the pregame show at 2:45pm (CST).
Sooner Athletic Conference Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/5.php