SAGU up against red-hot Tennessee Twisters

WINONA LAKE, Indiana -- Thursday afternoon's quarterfinal meeting between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and King College will be a clash of contrasts. The two women's basketball teams, playing against each other for the first time ever, have a 4:00pm (CST) tipoff in the NCCAA National Tournament.

Grace College hosts the eight-team event, which will be played in the 2,000 seat Orthopaedic Capital Center in north-central Indiana.

SAGU, 21-12, drew the #1 seed, even after a shocking 73-63 upset loss to Southwestern Christian University at the Central Region. With the best record among the field, the Lady Lions received an at-large berth to play in their first National Christian College Athletic Association nationals.

They drew #8 seeded King College, from Bristol, Tennessee. KC is located in the far northeast corner of the Volunteer State, between Knoxville and Roanoke, Virginia.

LIVESTREAMING Webcast of all games is available

The game can be viewed by accessing the Grace College website at www.grace.edu. Click on Athletics on the top of the home page. In the left column, click on the following headings; Women's Sports, Basketball, NCAA Women's Division I National Tournament, then Video Streaming. Instructions await, including the availability to purchase individual game DVDs.

About the Twister Sisters

The Tornados may have the worst record, 13-16, at Winona Lake, but it is very deceiving. They began the year with a 2-12 pre-New Year's mark. Since then the Twister Sisters have rolled to 11 wins in 15 games.

Head Coach Michele Williams has established a winner at King, where the Lady Tornados are the Queens of the Court. In five full seasons they have produced 18-13, 21-12, 14-18, 18-13 and 13-16 records as an NCAA Division II program.

This year's squad is tall and balanced. Their defense has improved dramatically down the stretch, and allows only 62.6 points per game. They outrebound the enemy by a 37.8 to 35.9 count. They average 5.7 threes per game, though their accuracy beyond the arc is 32%. However, they knock down free throws to the tune of .747.

A bug-a-boo they struggle with is turnovers, making an average of 19.8, while forcing 19.9. Their offense nets an average of 64.7 ppg. They are very familiar with the NCCAA tournament, and won the national title three years in a row back in the early 1990's.

Players to Watch

The Tornados, who don the United States' patriotic colors, are led by Ashley Deans, a 5'10 senior forward, and 5'6 senior guard Derika Mooney. The pair was named to the All Mid-East Regional team by the NCCAA.

Deans averages 16.3 ppg and 6.2 rebounds per outing. Mooney scores at a 10.3 ppg clip, is second in boards at 6.0 rpg and is tops in assists with 3.7 per game. Brooke Johnson and Jessica Tharpe are guards who contribute 9.0 and 7.4 ppg. Kalen Collins (5'10 F) and Cheyenne Thornsberry (6'1 C) account for 5.7 and 5.3 points and 5.7 and 4.5 boards respectively.

When it comes to shooting beyond the arc, the Tornados have four shooting storms with over 20 treys apiece. Tharpe is the most lethal, hitting 45 triples (30%). Though she seldom drives, she is making 92% of her foul shots. Mooney had 29 trifectas, while Johnson (26) and Jana Gross (22) are frequent to let it fly.

About Southwestern

SAGU came out flat at the Central Regionals, and paid for it. They fell behind early and spent the game battling back. They drew to within 65-63, and then missed an open layup that would've tied the game with 45 seconds to play. The SWCU Lady Eagles salted away the upset win on the foul line.

The Lady Lions lost a heartbreaker in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament to Langston University, 58-53, in similar fashion. Team Lioness missed a tying free throw with a minute to play and blew their fourth layup in the closing four minutes to their nationally ranked rivals from Langston, who also hit foul shots to ice the game.

Back-to-back setbacks at the wire. No wonder they weren't okay in OK.

The Purple Pride has labored with a number of on-going injuries and health issues over the past two months. After a 10-game win streak gave them a 13-3 start (including 8-0 in the RRAC), they have toiled with damaged players to finish with an 8-9 mark.

Their primary rotation line-up has seen only one player remain healthy: Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS), a freshman forward, led the team in scoring in Oklahoma City with 19 points, an indicator of her physical good fortune. Of late, Stephanie Hawkins (DeSoto, Tx / DeSoto HS) has really come on.

The Lady Lions' "Far Trek"

Southwestern's fate will be largely determined by how well they bounce back after a week off. They also traveled further than any team in the field at 862 miles. They are easily the southern-most representative. Emmanuel College, from Franklin Springs, Georgia, drove 502 miles.

The Lady Lions have one of the nation's best defenses, surrendering points grudgingly at around 55ppg. Their motion offense is geared for half-court efficiency, the perfect complement to their zone defense.

SAGU averages 5.8 triples per game (#45 nationally) and their 35% accuracy ranks #16 in the country. The Lions make 39% of their shots overall while limiting the opposition to 36%, which rates #16. The team grabs fewer rebounds than they yield, 35.4 to 38.8. Their turnover ratio is #22 – committing 17 giveaways per contest while separating the opposition from the ball 20.2 times.

Who to Watch

Individually, Chelsea Jones (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian), a 5-foot-8 senior forward, leads the way with 16.5 ppg. Hawkins, a senior guard, buckets 11.5 ppg, while Heather Jefferson (Conroe, Tx / Conroe HS), also a senior guard, nets 10 ppg.

Other leading point producers include Rodriguez (8.3), freshman center Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) (6.0), while junior forward Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) and senior guard Rachel Harris (Joshua, Tx / Bethesda Christian) each register 5.0 ppg.

Bruner, though hobbled badly for over a month, finished the campaign as the Lions best rebounder, reeling in 7.0 per contest. Hankins (5.9), Jones (5.5) and Rodriguez (5.0) provide Team Purp with balance along the baseline. Jefferson, who snared 12 caroms in their last game, averages just under five boards.

The team is paced from the perimeter by five sharpshooters. Jones, the school's first NAIA All-American in 2010, has 76, where her 43% success rate is among the NAIA's best. Last year, fully healthy, she led the nation in three-point field goal shooting percentage at over 44%.

Harris has triggered 36 (40%), Hawkins 25 (31%), Rodriguez 23 (35%) and Jefferson 17 (26%).

March 17: Opening Round Pairings

The Lady Lions could advance with a solid showing against a much-better than their record King quintet. The winner of this game will face the victor between Grace College (16-15) and Roberts Wesleyan (19-11), who play on Thursday night. The host Lady Lancers are peaking. The RWU Lady Raiders are from Rochester, NY.

The other opening round games on Thursday include the defending champions from Bethel College (Mishawaka, Ind) and Mid-America Christian University (OKC, Ok). The #2 seeded Lady Pilots are 18-14, while the MACU Lady Evangels, the #7 seed, tote a 14-18 mark.

#3 Emmanuel College (17-14) plays #6 Trinity International (18-14) in the other duel. The Lady Lions of EC hail from Georgia, while the Trinity Lady Trojans are located in Deerfield, Illinois.

Each of the teams will play three games, insuring final placing for all eight.

Site for Sore Eyes

The university website is migrating through a molting phase, which should be complete in less than two weeks. The difference should be obvious and the athletic site will have added perks. During this process, news articles will continue. However, no photos or graphics will be allowed until the transformation is complete.

Once final, pictures will be uploaded on stories during the transition, which will remain available.

The DAILY DIARY of the Lady Lions trip, which is loaded with photos, will be viewable later. The Athletics section continues to draw more hits from readers than everywhere except for those accessing Lion e-mail. Thak you for your interest in "Hunting Lions."

Women's Basketball News

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Jan 03, 2014 - Women's Basketball News

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Jan 02, 2014 - Women's Basketball News

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Dec 18, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Dec 17, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Dec 14, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Hoopsters get in the gift-giving spirit

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Dec 13, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions roll to 71-49 victory

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Dec 11, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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SAC Coaches tab Lady Lions to finish ninth

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Dec 06, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Nov 27, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Nov 24, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions corral Mustangs, 61-50

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Nov 23, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Nov 22, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions breeze past Dallas Christian, 97-56

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Nov 20, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady hoopsters play Tuesday at Dallas Christian

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Nov 19, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions suffer first loss to LSU-Shreveport

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Nov 10, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions crush Crusaders, 81-25

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Nov 06, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Lady Lions basketball roster announced

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Oct 31, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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SAGU Basketball Classic set for Nov. 8-9

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Oct 14, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Women's Basketball Schedule Released

Women's Basketball Schedule Released

Oct 03, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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SAGU picks 'perennial' power forward

SAGU picks 'perennial' power forward

May 25, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Women's hoops sked is wild ride

Women's hoops sked is wild ride

May 22, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Four nationally-ranked foes in first month Home itinerary features SAGU Classic amid 14 games WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Rollercoasters are known to precede the thrills with an advent...

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Beadles recalls SAGU's biggest wins

Beadles recalls SAGU's biggest wins

May 14, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Veteran women's coach cites toughest losses too WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Since joining the NAIA in 1999, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team ...

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Coaching Milestone: What others said

Coaching Milestone: What others said

May 14, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Arlon Beadles earned 200th win in 2012-13 Three colleagues extol tributes for Lady Lions coach WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  One of the biggest sports headlines at Southwestern Assemblie...

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Hankins: Character of Steel

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May 05, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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SAGU jazzed up about signing Dorsey

SAGU jazzed up about signing Dorsey

May 02, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Point Guard commits to Lady Lions Recruiting class deepens with Sachse HS top scorer WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  In the days of the Big Band era, America tapped their toes to jazz c...

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Lady Eagles reel-in DeSoto's McAfee

Lady Eagles reel-in DeSoto's McAfee

Apr 25, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Shutdown forward signs with SAGU WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  As iron sharpens iron, just as proven winners raise the level of those around them. One of the state’s best prep basketb...

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Lady Lions look to turn the Page

Lady Lions look to turn the Page

Apr 06, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU signs 6-foot center, Charity Page Nocagdoches player one state's top prep stars WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  After turning over their entire line-up two years ago and endur...

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Lady Hoopsters end season with loss

Feb 27, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

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Second half pressure cracks Lady Lions

Second half pressure cracks Lady Lions

Feb 25, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Hankins, Cox, Griffin anchor SAGU baseline Wiley breaks open close game, nears RRAC title WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Needing one win in their last two games of the regular sea...

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SAGU falls to first place, OLLU, 80-54

SAGU falls to first place, OLLU, 80-54

Feb 22, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Career night by Griffin not enough for Lady Lions Final home game on Saturday at 2:00pm Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The rise of sophomore Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, T...

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Lady Lions rule the Knights, 74-47

Lady Lions rule the Knights, 74-47

Feb 18, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Hankins dominates paint with 19 boards Griffin turns in double-double; Sodich threes leads to 14 pts Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God Universit...

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SAGU loses joust with Lady Celts

SAGU loses joust with Lady Celts

Feb 11, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Krock's 18 points not enough Lady Lions have uphill climb to make tourney HOUSTON, Texas  --  After rallying from five-points down to grab a 12-11 lead, the Southwestern Assemb...

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Lady Lions fade late, 73-64

Lady Lions fade late, 73-64

Feb 08, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Sodich and Hill each pour in 19 points SAGU led 43-37 before yielding to HTU Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketba...

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SAGU corrals Mustangs in OT, 78-74

Feb 05, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Career-high from Bratchett sparks team Lady Lions play at home on Thursday vs HTU WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team m...

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SAGU edged by Langton, 52-51

SAGU edged by Langton, 52-51

Jan 29, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Lady Lions battling for berth in RRAC tourney Game saw seven lead changes; Lugo stars in setback Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  In a game that featured seven lead changes...

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Lady Lions win, 77-68, score 18 in a row

Lady Lions win, 77-68, score 18 in a row

Jan 28, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU storms past Bacone, move into 8th Krock, Hankins, Harvatin, Lugo join Hill with solid play WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Trailing by six points late in the first half (24-18), th...

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Lady Lions end skid, top Horns, 73-63

Lady Lions end skid, top Horns, 73-63

Jan 22, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU dominates boards, force 34 turnovers Hill, Sodich, Krock, Lugo shine in big road win Box Score TYLER, Texas  --  Snapping a string nine consecutive losses, the Southwe...

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Turnovers, Love overcomes Lady Lions

Turnovers, Love overcomes Lady Lions

Jan 20, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Jarvis tops SAGU, 66-46 Krock, Cox lead reserves in solid outing Official Box Score HAWKINS, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University built a six-point first ha...

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Lady Lions comeback comes up short

Lady Lions comeback comes up short

Jan 15, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Down 25, SAGU draws to within 62-58 Five-game road trip has three remaining Box Score CEDAR HILL, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University's women's basketball ...

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Lady Lions show growl in setback

Lady Lions show growl in setback

Jan 11, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

No. 24 OLLU tops SAGU, 84-64 Lugo leads strong effort in her hometown Box Score SAN ANTONIO, Texas  --  Despite a solid performance on the boards, the Southwestern Assembli...

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Lady Lions face ranked OLLU

Lady Lions face ranked OLLU

Jan 09, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

Follow game on live video or LiveStats Slowing down nation's top scoring team a challenge SAN ANTONIO, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketba...

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Cold spell costly to Lady Lions

Cold spell costly to Lady Lions

Jan 05, 2013 - Women's Basketball News

St. Thomas rides 41-20 halftime lead to victory Hill leads SAGU with 21; Cox has 16 rebounds Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University ...

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Lady Lions head into 2013

Lady Lions head into 2013

Dec 31, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Basketball season resumes Saturday at home Team's new identity reveals a balanced attack WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s baske...

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Lady Lions fall in Ft. Worth, 63-41

Lady Lions fall in Ft. Worth, 63-41

Dec 18, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Wesleyan defense stymies SAGU offense Next Game: Jan. 5 at home vs. St. Thomas Click here for Box Score FORT WORTH, Texas  --  The women’s basketball team from Southwe...

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Trifectas too much for SAGU

Trifectas too much for SAGU

Dec 16, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Hankins scores career-high 29 Lady Lions succumb to 15 three-pointers HOBBS, New Mexico  --  The women’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University outshot ...

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Women's head basketball coach earns 100th SAGU career win

Women's head basketball coach earns 100th SAGU career win

Dec 14, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Waxahachie, Texas — December 14, 2012 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Women's Head Basketball Coach Arlon Beadles achieved his 100th SAGU win on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, as...

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Lady Lions sink in 58-47 loss

Lady Lions sink in 58-47 loss

Dec 14, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU outlasted by #17 LSU-S Solid defensive effort undone by turnovers Click here for Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A talented LSU-Shreveport women’s basketball tea...

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SAGU hoopsters ring in the holidays

SAGU hoopsters ring in the holidays

Dec 13, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Players team-up with the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive a worthy service project WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  On the court they receive an assist for serving others. In the communit...

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Lady Lions get stuck in the muddle

Lady Lions get stuck in the muddle

Dec 11, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU comes up short to Langston, 62-46 Hill, Harvatin, Sodich combine for 35 points Click here for Box Score LANGSTON, Oklahoma  --  Monday night’s women’s college basketba...

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Hot starting Bacone rolls by Lady Lions

Hot starting Bacone rolls by Lady Lions

Dec 09, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Hill pours in 20-points in losing cause SAGU plays at Langston on Monday Click here for Box Score MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University wome...

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Saturday night hoops; SAGU at Bacone

Saturday night hoops; SAGU at Bacone

Dec 08, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Follow the game on Live Stats SAGU is at Langston on Monday MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s and women’s basketball teams are in Okla...

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Lady Lions hold off Texas College

Lady Lions hold off Texas College

Dec 04, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

79-76 win offsets loss of Winston Freshman Hill thrills crowd, Hankins saves day WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets th...

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Love too much for Lions to handle

Love too much for Lions to handle

Dec 02, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Jarvis guard erupts for 42 points SAGU drops 72-55 decision, host TxC on Monday Click here for Box Score (Photo Gallery listed below) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Pro...

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SAGU hosts Saturday afternoon games

SAGU hosts Saturday afternoon games

Dec 01, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Lady Lions at 2:00pm, Lions at 4:00pm Jarvis Christian College visits for RRAC twinbill WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University will play host to ...

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Last second free throw costs SAGU

Last second free throw costs SAGU

Nov 30, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Lady Lions drop 56-55 decision to Tillotson Cox, Harvatin, Winston reach double-figures Click here for Box Score AUSTIN, Texas  --  An accidental foul in the backcourt sent...

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Lady Lions breeze to 79-39 triumph

Lady Lions breeze to 79-39 triumph

Nov 28, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Coach Beadles Wins 200th Winston, Bratchett lead 12 Lady Lion scorers FARMERS BRANCH, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team went full...

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Lady Lions overcome cold start, roll 72-52

Lady Lions overcome cold start, roll 72-52

Nov 26, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Team recovers from 13-point deficit Coach Beadles now one win shy of 200 Click here for Box Score WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  It was far from pretty, but the end product wa...

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Second half dooms Lady Lions

Second half dooms Lady Lions

Nov 12, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Wayland Baptist breaks open close game SAGU comes up short in 64-43 setback WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The best half of basketball to date by Southwestern Assemblies of God Univ...

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Solid start and finish sparks Lady Lions

Solid start and finish sparks Lady Lions

Nov 12, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU wins opener, 80-68, over DCC Winston, Bratchett lead five in double-figures WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Some things increase in their value once they have been lost. Like th...

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Q & A with Arlon Beadles

Q & A with Arlon Beadles

Nov 09, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Head Coach Assesses the Lady Lions Optimism reigns; home games Fri/Sat PM WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  His eyes filled with insights and the richness of know-how, Southwestern A...

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SAGU Classic slated for Friday, Saturday

SAGU Classic slated for Friday, Saturday

Nov 09, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Women's college hoops takes over campus Lady Lions play at 7:30pm on both nights WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The women’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God Univers...

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Cold second half cages Lady Lions

Cold second half cages Lady Lions

Nov 04, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Team drops to 0-2 after weekend tourney Lady Lions host SAGU Classic, Nov. 9-10  BETHANY, Oklahoma  --  A solid first half was not enough for the women’s basketball t...

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Drovers lasso Lady Lions

Drovers lasso Lady Lions

Nov 04, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

USAO tops SAGU in season opener Winston, Hankins, Hill score in double-figures BETHANY, Oklahoma  --  Despite controlling the boards in convincing fashion, the Southwestern Ass...

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SAGU drops opener, 84-64, in OKC

SAGU drops opener, 84-64, in OKC

Nov 03, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

BETHANY, Oklahoma  --  Despite controlling the boards in convincing fashion, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women's basketball team finished on the wrong side of an 84-6...

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Lady Lions hoopsters picked 6th

Lady Lions hoopsters picked 6th

Oct 31, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU to open new season this weekend Pre-Season Coaches Poll ranks all 12 RRAC teams WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Following a rebuilding season last winter, the Southwestern Assembli...

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Lady Lions take on Alumni All-Stars

Lady Lions take on Alumni All-Stars

Oct 11, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

A Breakfast of Hoops and Fruit Loops  Chelsea Jones and Company return to the court WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Fans of women’s college basketball with get a preview look at th...

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Women's hoops names new Assistant Coach

Women's hoops names new Assistant Coach

Aug 09, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Kory Henry returns to Lady Lions Veteran coach to focus on SAGU defense WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The women’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University have ann...

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Lady Lions announce 30-game schedule

Lady Lions announce 30-game schedule

Jul 02, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

SAGU tips off season in Oklahoma Coach Beadles leads retooled 2012-13 team WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University has released the schedule of the women’s basketb...

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Lady Lions banking on Tanks

Lady Lions banking on Tanks

Jun 29, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

San Antonio pipeline sends 'Shooter'  Smithson Valley's Shaina Tanks signs WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Forgive women’s basketball coach Arlon Beadles for smiling. He just completed the rec...

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Dual-sport winger to play hoops

Dual-sport winger to play hoops

Jun 28, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Jessica Sodich to play basketball Recruiting class adds second guard WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The women’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has announc...

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Roberts named All-American

Roberts named All-American

Apr 23, 2012 - Women's Basketball News

Roberts leads NAIA in blocked shots Bruner, Winston recognized for their efforts as well   WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Prior to the Southwestern Assemblies of God University sports banque...

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