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SAGU rallies for last-second win over Langston

Rambo comeback heroics matched by Adoyi, Guidry

Box Score

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A sign once hung inside of a machine shop: “Those who don’t believe in life after death should visit here after 5:00 pm.”

Or wherever the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team is playing.

The Lions made an improbable comeback in the closing stages of a game against an inspired Langston University team, winning 75-71.

Delivering efficiently against the odds, they were, in the words of John Wesley, “always in haste, (but) never in a hurry.”

No. 16 ranked SAGU, now 19-3 overall and 13-2 in the Red River Athletic Conference, spent the better part of the game battling from behind. The visiting LU Lions countered every rally with a reply to supplant SAGU’s home court energy.

Just when it appeared they would not succeed, the Purple Pride came alive near quitting time.

SAGU overcame a 60-49 deficit with a 16-4 run to lead 65-64 with 2:26 to play. Langston, utilizing an overturned call against the home team, reclaimed the lead with four straight points.

Trailing 68-65 with 1:23 to play, Southwestern snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by closing with a 10-3 flurry.

Langston’s Emil Clayton, a 6'1 senior guard from Chicago, stunned a half-filled Sheaffer Center crowd with a three-ball to tie the score, 71-71, with twelve seconds on the clock.

Head Coach Donnie Bostwick eschewed a timeout, instead, allowing playmaker Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Trinity Christian School) to create on the fly.

He sped upcourt, and then weaved into a seam of the opposing defense. Rambo, who scored seven points during the 16-4 rally, was about to go coast-to-coast with the most. Just then, Jabril Bailey cut him off with a hard foul during his bid for a layup.

Rambo, whose free throw accuracy sharpens with the need, tickled the twine twice with five seconds showing on the scoreboard.

Ball game?

Not so fast.

Adorned in orange, the visiting Lions’ Bayshon Payne darted the length of floor. Headstrong for the equalizer he bowled over Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Connally HS) to pick up a game-saving charging foul.

It would be the fifth charge drawn by SAGU, meaning free queso and chips at the local Chili’s restaurant, a new interactive for fans. Instead, it was also overruled by a different official.

Payne went to the charity stripe with two seconds left. Having taken cheese and dipping devices from the hungry throngs, they replied in unison, “No pressure,” a friendly reminder of the setting.

He missed.

A collective sigh more than satisfied the home fans. They could think of purchasing their own appetizer while Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) added a pair of free throws on the opposite end.

As the 5 o'clock whistle, uh, final horn sounded, a well-coached Langston team and a never-say-die unit from SAGU were both well-spent from an exhilarating college classic.

The numbers are in

Rambo led four in double figures with 21 points. It included three second half "Rambo rainbow" triples, 6-of-6 on the foul line, three assists and seven steals. Gentry added 12 and two clutch three-pointers.

Two huge contributions were made by reserve catalysts; 6-foot-5 Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / Parkview HS) and Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian). Each added 10 points.

Guidry (GID-ree) racked up seven assists in sixteen minutes while Adoyi (pronounced like a-boy) hit 5-of-9 shots, grabbed five boards and wore a bloody badge of honor, rising below his right eye.

Adoyi converted a Rambo miss with a putback that drew SAGU to within 64-63. Then he wristed a jumper from the elbow, courtesy of a Guidry dish that had the hosts down 68-67.

Following two Langston misses on their next possession, he took a pass from Rambo and drove inside to give Team Purp the upper-hand, 69-68, with 0:47 to go.

When the guests misfired on their ensuing shot, Adoyi reeled in the carom, firing to Guidry. He was quickly fouled and sank two shots for the 71-68 advantage.

Forwards Ward and Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) netted eight and seven points, though both were saddled with fouls.

SAGU overcame a 30% shooting effort in the first half by making 15 of 30 in the second half, including 5-of-11 three-pointers. In the clutch they sank all 12 FT’s after intermission to finish 16 of 22.

Langston shot 52% in a first half that saw them take a 31-28 lead into the locker room. They finished the game at 49%. Their performance on the foul line fueled their solid play, going 24-of-26, including 15-of-16 in the second half.

SAGU narrowly won the battle of the boards, 30-29, with a 13-5 edge on the offensive glass.

The host Lions forced the visiting Lions into 27 turnovers, 16 in the second stanza.

Langston was paced by Clayton, who poured in 23 points. He had three baskets, all from beyond the arc, with the rest of his points generated on the foul line. Jabril contributed 10 points.

Ed Brown, Travis Scott and Payne each added six points, with Payne credited with five assists.

SAGU, who have played five games in 10 days, have won 10 consecutive contests, nine of them by 10-points or less.

On Deck: Texas Wesleyan on Saturday

They do not return to the court until Saturday, when they host Texas Wesleyan University (13-9, 7-8 in RRAC) for a 4:00pm (CST) matinee. The game will be aired in HD on SAGU TV.

A follow-up article to this game will feature Coach Bostwick’s comments about the Coaches vs. Cancer challenge and the more-important-than-basketball battle facing SAGU's own, David Bush.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

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