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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 may be going through this season without three standout starters, but you’d never know it by the amount of fight displayed by the young squad.

The Lady Lions defeated the University of the Southwest on Monday in overtime, 78-74. After overcoming a 12-point first half deficit, SAGU led by six, 71-65, with 2:26 left in the game.

Three straight misses and a turnover allowed the Lady Mustangs to tie the score with a pair of free throws, forcing overtime.

Trailing 74-72, SAGU evened the score on a Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) basket (2:19 to go), then grabbed the lead when Okievia Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) fed Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) inside for a 76-74 (1:37).

Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) sealed the deal with two foul shots in the closing seconds.

The game featured eight ties and five lead changes with the Lady Lions never losing their bite. They struggled at times, turning the ball over 24 times, but found a way by overcoming miscues with a determined effort.

They amped up their defensive intensity, and it fueled their offense.

Trailing 46-36 at intermission, the Lions held USW to 11 of 43 shooting (.256), even while allowing 10 offensive boards after halftime. They won the battle of the boards, 24-20, and as their perimeter play improved, so did their odds of winning.

Bratchett, Hill and Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) scored 11, 10 and six points in the second half as SAGU connected on 16 of 36 attempts (.444).

On defense, they held their counterparts to 3 of 22 from beyond the arc (.136).

The hosts, who trailed 30-18 with less than eight minutes to play in the first half, outscored the Fillies 15-5 to start the second.

Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) fed Hill for a trifecta to tie the game at 56, then, after a pair of Bratchett free throws, the junior swiped the ball and cashed it in with a layup to take the lead, 60-58, with 9:06 to play.

Two baskets by Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS), along with buckets from Sodich and Krock pushed the Lady Lions’ advantage to 71-65.

That set the stage for their win in overtime.

SAGU, 8-16 overall and 5-12 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The win moves the Lady Lions into sole possession of eighth place.

Since dropping nine in a row, SAGU has put together a 3-3 record in their bid to qualify for the conference tournament in early March.

Bratchett had a lot to do with turning the game around. After scoring just two points in the last four games, the sophomore erupted for a career best 20 on Monday. She made 6-of-11 shots as well as 7-of-9 free throws.

Both Hill and Sodich poured in 17 with Hankins, Cox and Krock each netting six. Cox led in rebounds with 11.

Lady Lions host 7th place Tillotson on Thursday

SAGU will be back in action at home on Thursday when they take on Huston-Tillotson University  (10-15, 8-8 in RRAC)  at 5:30pm (CST). The game will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live.

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

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