Lady Lions let one slip away
Jarvis wins in OT after last minute rally
SAGU can't close the door on near-victory
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Led by 15-points from sophomore guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS), the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team overcame an eight-point deficit to take a five-point lead with less than a minute to play, only to fall to Jarvis Christian College, 53-46, in overtime.
Like Ancaeus, the helmsman of Jason’s ship Argo in Greek mythology, who almost tasted the fruit of his vineyards before falling to an encounter with a boar, the Lady Lions let slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.
SAGU, on the verge of victory, held a 39-34 lead entering the final minute of regulation, lost their grip in a heartbreaking defeat.
The young team has now let five games slip away in which a lead was lost in the final two minutes. Hence the famous idiom, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.” It was oh so close.
Southwestern also struggled to contain Marsharae Brown, a 5’10 senior transfer from Henderson State University (NCAA Div II). She scored 14 of the Lady Bulldogs final 19 points in dominating fashion.
The forward from Katy, Texas drained a pair of clutch triples and benefitted from four calls to swish 8-of-8 free throws as she finished with a game-high and season-best 28 points.
“She is such a hard worker,” said Angela Lawson, the Jarvis Sports Information Director turned coach-on- the-spot. Head Coach Elissia Burwell couldn’t make the trip due to a back condition. “Marsharae wanted the ball and it showed,” added Lawson.
The Bulldogs scored eight points in the final minute on a pair of threes by Brown and Dinilesizwe Love and two foul shots from Brown with five seconds remaining that tied the game at 42.
It took them the previous eight minutes to score that many.
Over Time Review
Jarvis never trailed in overtime, with Brown bagging nine of their 11 points. After a runner by Winston drew SAGU to within 48-46 with 2:02 remaining, she nailed her fourth trey of the game, all from the same location on the court, for a five-point cushion at 1:32. A pair of foul shots closed the scoring with 1:14 to play.
In the pivotal two minutes of regulation and overtime, Jarvis made four of seven shots and all eight FT’s. Southwestern connected on two of seven field goal tries and four of eight from the charity stripe. Both teams were called for four fouls and made two turnovers.
The game’s biggest two calls were also the most questionable. A phantom touch-foul on Brown’s drive in the closing seconds sent her to the line for two pressure-packed free throws. She didn’t flinch.
Then, in the opening play of extra time, she angled at full speed across the lane. Brown missed a runner then barreled into Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS), who had set-up to take a charge. Instead, the off-official at midcourt raced in to indicate a blocking foul on Bruner, who had to leave the game with a head injury from the collision.
The apparently erroneous call on an out-of-control play swung momentum clearly in favor of Brown and Jarvis. They capitalized on their opportunity.
After Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS) tied the game on an offensive putback, Brown was fouled on the next possession. She netted another pair for a 46-44 lead they never lost.
SAGU coughed the ball up in the backcourt seconds later, the steal being credited to Ashley Watson. It was cashed into a layup by Kendra Gilford, who made the most of her four minutes on the court with her only points.
Lawson explained her only instructions to the team when they outscored SAGU 19-7 (since trailing 39-34) was to “be patient, work the ball around and to only take good shots,” she said. “The rest was up to them to make the plays.”
She made mention of a critical 3-ball by Love with twenty-nine seconds left in the second half that was “huge. We absolutely had to have it.” It pulled Jarvis to within 41-40.
SAGU had a chance to extend their lead to three, but split a pair of free throws for a 42-40 lead. It proved costly when Brown tied the game by making her foul shots with 0:05 on the clock.
“When the game was on the line,” said Lawson, “we came together. And Ray-Ray (Marsharae Brown) was the difference.”
Lady Lion Top Performances
Bruner, the Lady Lions hearty senior forward, totaled 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting. She also ripped down seven rebounds before fouling out. She deserved a better fate.
Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) tossed in three trifectas, all in the first half, during a 10-point game. The shooting guard also collected six defensive boards.
Roberts was as active as a hornet's nest, both in the paint and on the glass.
The junior center couldn’t get many shots to fall (2 of 7), but doubled everyone in rebounds with 16. It was her third best effort of the season. She also blocked five shots, including a pair in the final five minutes of the second half.
The Lady Lions defense performed well until the end. They permitted Jarvis to make only 27% of their shots (16 of 58) and forced 18 turnovers. While the Bulldogs hit just 28% beyond the arc, they did launch enough to make nine. Combined with a 40-34 margin over JCC on the boards would normally spell victory.
SAGU was successful on 33% of their attempts (17-51) and 29% from long distance (5-17). It was their execution from 15-feet (foul line), 7-of-16 (43%), that helped open the door for Jarvis.
The Dawgs had just 12 FT’s, and failed to miss. Their 71% leads the RRAC. It helped settle the outcome in this tight game.
The Lady Lions led 5-0 out of the gate on a Rodriguez three-ball. Her second shot from downtown, both with assists from Roberts, gave the Lion Queens a 9-5 scoreboard bulge with 13:25 left in the half. They went scoreless over the next 12:10 until Rodriguez' passed to Winston for a trey, cutting a Jarvis lead to 17-12 (1:15 to go).
Freshman Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS) hustled to grab her miss of a three and score inside at 0:39. Following a Lady Bulldog miscue, 'Drea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) dished a dime to Rodriguez on the wing. Her triple with five ticks left sliced the Jarvis lead from eight to 19-17 at intermission.
SAGU regained the lead when Bruner layed in a Rodriguez helper to go up, 23-22, with 16:16 left in regulation. Baskets from Winston and driving down the lane by Lugo pushed the lead to 27-22 (14:47).
The Lions' largest lead was at 30-24 when Sascha Lewis (Lufkin, Tx / Hudson HS) dished a dime to Roberts with 10:13 remaining.
SAGU travels to H-Town on Monday
Southwestern hopes to rebound against the University of St. Thomas on Monday. The 5:30pm game will pit the SAGU against the Celts (pronounced Kelts), who have lost seven in a row.
UST, in their first season of play, is 5-11 overall and 3-8 in the RRAC. Their league triumphs have come against the University of the Southwest, Huston-Tillotson and Bacone College, teams SAGU came up short against with late fades.
Team Lioness returns to the Sheaffer Center on Thursday, January 26, and Monday, Jan. 30, when they begin Round Two in the conference against Bacone and Tillotson.
Seven of SAGU’s final 13 games are at home. All will be broadcast by SAGU SPORTS Live in High Definition and webcast on Live Stats, a text-driven play-by-play account of the game.