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Lions earn one first-place vote, trail UPike (12-1)

Waxahachie, Texas — January 9, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) appears at No. 2 in this week’s NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

After advancing to the NAIA championship game last spring, where they came up short to Kentucky’s Georgetown College, the Lions (33-5 record) moved up from No. 6 to No. 2 in the final poll of the season.

SAGU (9-1) started at No. 5 in this year’s preseason poll. After rising into a tie for third with University of Pikeville (Ky), they nudged up to No. 2 on Tuesday.

It’s the highest the Lions have been ranked in the regular season and included one of the 10 first place votes – their first ever. The team is 3-1 against teams that have been ranked this season.

SAGU is allowing opponents to make just .391 percent of their shots, eighth best in the NAIA. The Lions also rank in the Top 10 in three-pointers per game (9.5), rebounds (44.4 rpg) and offensive boards (14.8).

The University of Pikeville (Ky) became the third different team at the summit in the poll. The Bears are 12-1 and were chosen on six of the first place ballots. UPike, 26-7 a year ago, have scored over 100 points on six occasions. Their average margin of victory is by over 30 points.

Right behind SAGU at No. 3 is Columbia College (Mo) at 13-1. With three first place votes, the Cougars were No. 1 in the previous poll. They were No. 1 for much of last season when they won their first 35 games. No. 4, Cal State San Marcos (17-1) and No. 5 Concordia University (Cal) (13-2) meet this Friday in Irvine.

The Sooner Athletic Conference has five of their 11 teams receiving votes. St. Gregory’s University (Ok) (11-1) is No. 12. Head Coach John Martin’s Cavaliers, 7-21 last winter, are off to a sensational start. Mid-America Christian University (Ok) (7-3) jumped up to No. 18. Dropping from No. 7 to No. 22 after back-to-back losses is John Brown University (Ark). The Golden Eagles are 11-2.

Oklahoma Baptist University, picked by SAC coaches as the team to beat this season, aren’t in the Top 25, but received votes. The Bison are meshing in a new line-up around one returning starter. They figure to develop as the season progresses. OBU has qualified for the NAIA tourney each of the past five seasons and have won between 24 and 33 games in each of those years. When the season commenced, they were ranked No. 2.

The Lions have two more games this week. On Thursday, Jan. 9, they play in Ft. Worth against Texas Wesleyan University (7-5) at 8 p.m. (CST). On Saturday, Jan. 11, they host the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) at 5 p.m. The game will be aired in HD by SAGU Sports Live.

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

NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Jan. 7

Rank School (1st Place Votes) Record Total Points
1 University of Pikeville (KY) (6) 12-1 247
2 SAGU (TX) (1) 9-1 239
3 Columbia College (MO) (3) 13-1 238
4 Cal State San Marcos 17-1 228
5 Concordia University (CA) 13-2 212
6 Evangel University (MO) 12-3 201
7 Talladega College (AL) 14-2 194
8 Arizona Christian 13-1 183
9 William Carey (MS) 8-2 181
10 Rocky Mountain (MT) 12-3 180
11 Freed-Hardeman (TN) 8-9 179
12 St. Gregory's (OK) 11-1 178
13 Georgetown College (KY) 11-3 153
14 Wiley College (TX) 9-1 148
15 Benedictine (KS) 10-3 133
15 Montana State-Northern 14-3 133
17 Philander Smith (AR) 11-5 110
18 Mid-America Christian (OK) 7-3 101
19 Culver-Stockton (MO) 10-3 97
20 Martin Methodist (TN) 8-4 95
21 Vanguard University (CA) 13-2 94
22 John Brown University (AR) 11-2 80
23 St. Catharine (KY) 9-4 77
24 Xavier (LA) 11-4 64
25 Faulkner (AL) 9-5 59

Others Receiving Votes: Hope International (Cal) 50; Cumberland (Tenn) 37; Westminster (Utah) 33; Emmanuel (Ga) 30; Graceland (Iowa) 21; Montana Western 8; Oklahoma Baptist 4; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan) 3.



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