SAGU upset at USAO, 65-63
Eight-point lead, 61-53, evaporates in final seven minutes
Lady Lions (11-12) host Texas Wesleyan (11-11) on Saturday
Box Score, Play-by-Play (available below)
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 65-63 decision to the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma on Thursday night.
The Lady Lions, now 11-12 overall and 5-8 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, led throughout the game. For the second game in a row the team struggled down the stretch to close-out a well-earned win.
SAGU held a 61-53 advantage with 7:01 remaining. USAO (4-11 / 3-9 in SAC) rallied to outscore their guests 12-2 the rest of the way.
The Lady Lions offense, efficient through 33 minutes; yielding just 10 turnovers and making 47% of their shots, shutdown in the clutch. In the closing seven minutes they lost the ball seven times and made one of six shots.
Still leading 63-60 the offense committed three turnovers and went 0-for-2 in the last two minutes. The open door allowed the Drovers to steal a rare victory.
After two free throws by Amber Chaney, a basket by Sami Martin lifted USAO on top, 64-63, with 1:21 to go.
Two consecutive turnovers prevented Team Purple from getting a shot off until a desperate bid by senior Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS, Panola JC) w , Panola JC,, , Panola JC) ith four seconds on the clock.
SAGU was scoreless over the final five minutes while the Drovers produced the game’s final nine points.
Less than a month ago the Purple Pride rolled to an easy 78-54 win over USAO. In doing so, SAGU held the Green and Gold to 29% shooting.
In Thursday’s rematch they permitted Science & Arts to make just 30% and dominated the boards as well, 47 to 34.
The major dissimilarity came in two areas of play.
Successful in only 6-of-30 from two-point range, the Drovers drove SAGU nuts from the perimeter. They tickled the twine 15 times in 39 tries, doubling their average of seven three-pointers per game.
They also benefitted greatly by limiting their own turnovers to five per half.
“The big difference was their 3-point shooting,” admitted Head Coach Arlon Beadles. “They made 15 of them from the beyond the arch and we didn't hit a shot for the last 4+ minutes of the game.”
“This was a tough loss on the road tonight,” he stated. “Our girls played a terrific game against a much disciplined USAO squad.”
“They hit key 3's down the stretch that swung the momentum in their favor. Our shots in the final minutes wouldn’t fall for us. This was possibly the best offensive game we have played this season.”
“To walk out of that gym (USAO Fieldhouse) tonight with a loss was extremely difficult. Even in this loss, though, I can't say enough about our team and the effort they put forth tonight.”
SAGU has been involved in only four games this season that were decided by 10 points or less. They won the first three.
Winston and sophomore Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS ) each had eight baskets en route to scoring 22 and 19 points respectively. The pair combined for seven of SAGU’s eight triples.
Each had a pair of assists and was credited with three steals apiece.
Senior Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS ) led both teams with nine rebounds. Freshman Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS ), who scored six points, grabbed seven boards.
Freshman Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS ) and junior Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS ) had six rebounds individually.
There were few fouls called; SAGU had 14, USAO only six. They resulted in the Lady Lions making 5-of-8 free throws; the Drovers were 8-of-11.
Martin and Paige Pulliam, a pair of guards, each with four treys, poured in 18 points apiece. Both played the entire game. Rashelle Carr added 12 points.
The triumph snapped a seven-game losing streak for Science & Arts.
SAGU welcomes Lady Rams on Saturday
The Lady Lions return to the court on Saturday afternoon when they host Texas Wesleyan University (11-11 / 6-7 in SAC) at 3:00pm (CST).
SAGU Sports Live will air the game in HD, starting with the pre-game show at 2:45pm. To access the broadcast, click: www.sagu.edu/tv
Five of the team’s remaining seven games are at home.
Box Score: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamPage.aspx?association=10&sg=WBB&sea=NAIWBB_2013&conference=NAIWBB1_SAC&team=299
Click on the underlined score for the Box Score.
Click on the split blue box (to the right of the L) to view the account of the game's Play-by-Play.
Special Thanks to USAO S.I.D. Jessica Jackson for action photos.