Lions Season Ends, Drop 102-98 Decision
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Mid-America Christian rallies past SAGU

Lady Lions play in Regional Semi-Finals, Friday at 2:00pm

NATIONWIDE WARD:  Duce Ward leads the NAIA in rebounds. He had 15 against MACU on Wednesday night.OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma  --  Mid-America Christian University broke a 94-94 tie with four straight points in tonight's quarter-final of the NCCAA Central Regional, eliminating Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 102-98. The host Evangels, who are in the Sooner Athletic Conference, improved their record to 14-15 while the Lions wrapped up their season at 12-19.

Tied for the 12th time at 94-all, the Evangels scored six of the next seven points for a 100-95 lead. Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas, Waco HS) drained a triple to pull the Lions to within a basket with 0:50 remaining. After milking the clock, MACU missed a shot on offense. Da'Tron Harris (Waco, Tx / Waco HS) grabbed the rebound as the Lions were set to even the score with less than twenty seconds remaining.

Game's Deciding Play

Horne dribbled to his left and sent a one-bounce pass from the elbow to Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Connally HS) on the low block. He spun inside only to have his shot blocked from behind in a play that knocked him to the floor with seven seconds to play. No foul was called. The Evangels iced the game with a pair of foul shots with 0:04 to go.

The Lions last held the lead at 91-90 when Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / West Plano HS) scored on an offensive rebound with 2:57 to play. Southwestern led for most of the second half, holding five point leads on five occasions and led by six, 79-73, on a Gibson 3-bomb, with 9:31 showing on the clock.

Mid-America had the ball and the lead through much of the opening stanza, building their largest lead at 22-16, with 11:16 to go. Horne fueled a rally that Gibson capped with a trifecta and a 44-39 SAGU lead at the 3:50 mark. It finished off a 22-12 Lions surge. 

Team Totals

LOOKING UP:  Pistol Pete Dutton made 6-of-10 shots during a 16 point performance against MACU. He is shown here between two Langston players. Photo by Gina Godding.MACU made 54% of their shots and placed six players in double figures. The 102 points was a season-high.

SAGU converted 46% of their attempts, but in the second half the Lions made just 43% while the Evangels sunk 56% of their tries. They outrebounded the Lions, 46-37 (22-15 on offense), and made only 11 turnovers. The score was tied at the half, 49-49.

Southwestern knocked down 13 trhee-pointers and held MACU to two, though the Evangels were content to driving in the paint or pounding the ball inside. SAGU was good on 23 of 27 free throws. Mid-America was just 16-of-29.

Player Totes

The Purple Pride were led in scoring by Horne, who bucketed 25. Gibson bagged 21 while Ward accounted for 16 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Peter Dutton (Houston, Tx / Booker T. Washington HS) came off the bench for three treys during a 16 point effort. It was his fourth double-figure performance of the season. His high was 20 against University of the Southwest.

The Evangels top two scorers were Cameron Langster and George Haynes, who registered 18 and 15 points respectively. The hosts had a huge advantage in depth, outscoring SAGU's bench by a 51-19 margin.

Deja Vu?

It was the second year in a row that MACU ended Southwestern's year. Last spring they ousted the Lions, 77-69, in the Central Regional finals. MACU, the #2 seed, will play in the semi-finals Friday night against #3 seeded York College (Neb) at 8:00pm.

The game was livestreamed by MACU, though local viewers missed most of the action due to buffering. The announced LIVESTATS were not posted.

Women's Central Regionals on Friday

The SAGU Lady Lions (21-11) play at MACU on Friday at 2:00pm in the women's semi-finals. They will face the #4 seed, Southwestern Christian University (Okla). SWCU's Lady Eagles defeated SAGU in the second game of the season, 61-57, at nearby Bethany, Oklahoma. 

The other semi-final pits the #2 seed, MACU (12-16) against #3 Central Baptist College (Ark) (10-14 record) at 6pm.

Provided the Lady Lions win on Friday, they will meet the winner of MACU and CBC in the final on Saturday at 1:00pm. SAGU has yet to face Mid-America this year, though they did top the Central Baptist Lady Mustangs, 60-52, in Waxahachie in November.

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