SAGU builds eight-point, second half lead
Winston, Hill lead offense; freshman duo - Ward, Page, shine
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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s women’s basketball team, after playing its best through two-thirds of the game, let front-running Mid-America Christian University rally for a 65-52 win at the Sheaffer Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Lions, with the best defense against shooters in the Sooner Athletic Conference, had another stellar effort.
They held the Lady Evangels to a 33% effort (23 of 69), but failed to capitalize on numerous chances to bury MACU when they had them down.
SAGU built an eight-point, second half lead, 34-26, with fourteen minutes left in the game. The team was realizing its potential against a nationally ranked team.
But they didn’t finish.
The Purple Pride was awarded for their hard work with 30 free throw attempts. They sank just 17, which let MACU off the hook for fouls that prevented Lions baskets.
The red-clad guests began to assert themselves on the boards, especially the offensive glass. Their ability to wrestle the ball away following their missed shots led to 20 offensive rebounds, nine more than SAGU.
Second chance shots from inside the lane added up to a 69 to 47 advantage in field goal attempts. Twenty-two extra shots proved costly.
The Evangels rode the 46-37 edge on the boards to victory.
MACU is now 10-3 overall and 4-0 in the SAC. It is the best start in their history.
The Lady Lions dropped their second league game in as many tries and are 6-6 in all games. But there was much to like about their performance.
Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS ), a freshman forward, cashed in on a Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS ) miss with a stickback that knotted the score at 42-42 with 8:13 to play.
On the ensuing Mid-America possession she (Page) blocked a shot at the low block. The Evangels came up with the ball following a scrum in the paint.
It led to a patient series of passes that ended when Cheyenne Been (pronounced like 'Bean') spotted Ashlee Ferguson, open in the left corner. She drained it for the lead at the 7:45 mark.
SAGU followed with a missed shot, and then split a pair of free throws. Ferguson then connected again from the same spot, thanks to a pass from Alliyah Spatafora. It was 48-43 with 6:44 on the clock.
The teams traded misses, though April Williams rebounded MACU's carom and scored on a putback.
Winston followed by driving between two sandwiching defenders. No whistle was heard, resulting in a credited blocked shot.
Racing downcourt, Maclayn Massey tossed to Ferguson. She was alone on the wing. When she gunned in a nothing-but-net triple the margin had reached 53-43. It capped an 11-1 run in just over three minutes.
SAGU drew to within four on foul shots by Winston and a driving layup on the right side by Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS ). It was 53-47 with 3:49 to go.
MACU nailed down the victory moments later when Spatafora assisted another three-ball by, you guessed it, Ferguson. The visitors led 58-47, and, following a Winston trey, replied with a Lauren McKinney trifecta to ice it at 61-50.
The Lady Lions battled their way to a 27-24 halftime lead, with Page converting a defensive steal by going the distance, narrowly beating the buzzer.
Winston and Hill fueled the team in scoring and another freshman, Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS ), had a game-high 10 rebounds.
The SAC’s leading scorer, Winston, bagged a game-best 22 points. Her stat line included a pair of triples, four rebounds, 10-of-15 free throws and two steals.
It was her seventh consecutive double-digit game and the seventh time she eclipsed twenty in a game this season.
Hill added 13 points while Ward (6) and Page (5) were the only others to score more than two. Page was second in boards with seven.
MACU, who made 12 of 37 longball tries, enjoyed a 29-9 advantage in bench scoring. Ferguson, powered by five threes, was tops with 17 points. Been netted 13.
Bouncing Back: Lady Lions play three times next week
The Lady Lions have a chance to bounce back on Monday night when they travel to play Southwestern Christian University. Tip-off is set for 6:00pm in Bethany, a suburb of Oklahoma City, Ok.
SCU is 2-8 overall and 0-2 in the SAC.
The Pride play at Texas Wesleyan University (5-6 / 1-2) on Thursday and host Science & Arts (2-4 / 1-2) on Saturday afternoon.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 469-658-2847.
Photo Gallery: View and/or purchase from scores of pictures by Steve Patterson (Moving Pictures) at: http://movingpictures.photoreflect.com