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SAGU fields a revved up squad of 15

Season opener at home on Tuesday, 6:00pm

wbb-2013-nia-winstonWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of the 2013-14 basketball season is less than a week away for Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

The Lady Lions, coming off back-to-back losing campaigns, are bent on a winning season. And for good reason. (Watch for the team preview on-line on Monday, Nov. 4)

Head Coach Arlon Beadles will lead a new look team onto the court next week when the squad hosts Dallas Christian College. The November 5 debut starts with a tipoff at 6:00pm (CST).

Not only will the club wear new home uniforms, but will send out a line-up that will mesh in key returners and a few veterans who missed last season. Add to that is a group of promising recruits.

In short, be sure to grab a program on Tuesday.

As new members of the Sooner Athletic Conference the team will go up against four teams who are nationally ranked in the NAIA Pre-Season Coaches Poll.

Coach Beadles and Assistant Coach Kory Henry will have more depth and size than the past two years.


Running the offense will be sophomore point guard Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS). She was forced into the role when guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS, Panola JC), the leading scorer the past two years, was lost for the season with an early injury.

Both players love the accelerator and driving to the rack. Each has a gun from beyond the arc. Hill and Winston are double-figure scorers.

Senior ‘Drea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) and sophomore Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) bring experience and know-how to the position.

Freshmen Monica Dorsey (Garland, Tx / Sachse HS) and Shaylse Garcia (San Antonio, Tx / O’Connor HS) will vie for playing time.


Two players who can play at shooting guard and small forward are sophomore Shaina Tanks (Spring Branch, Tx / Smithson Valley HS) and freshman Alexis McAfee (DeSoto, Tx / DeSoto HS).

Then there is junior Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS), who, like Winston, spent last winter rehabbing an injury. Jirah (JY-rah) can knock down triples from the corner or the wing.


Rodriguez returns after reaching double-digits as a freshman and sophomore. So does junior Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian), a rebounder.

Two rookies will size and presence are Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS) and Laken Ward (Hattieville, Ark / Wonderview HS). Page, at 6’0, is a tower inside while the 5’10 Ward is a scorer.


This trio of seniors offers a myriad of skills. Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS), at 5’11, is an excellent passer who has a midrange jumper. The 6-foot-1 Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) is a space eater and rebounder.

Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS) makes an impact with her athleticism; rebounding, scoring and blocking shots. She was #2 in the nation as a sophomore and #1 as a junior, swatting over 100 shots each year.

Provided this squad develops chemistry and executes Coach Beadles’ defense-first approach, they can make some noise in the SAC.

The Lady Lions of 2009 through 2011 finished with records of 23-13, 23-8 and 25-8. They finished third in the nation in the NCCAA in one season and qualified for a berth in the NAIA tournament in another.

After posting 9-21 and 10-21 marks the past two seasons, the veterans know which side of .500 to shoot for.

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

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