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Contrasting strengths collide on Monday night

SAGU plays final game of semester at home

rodriguez-jirah-baselinePlayers to Watch  (stat leaders posted below)

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The strength of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team continues to be its defensive tenacity.

Head Coach Arlon Beadles’ squad employs a brand of zone defense that can be very effective. With an appetite like a farmhand at hay time, it gobbles up opposing offenses like a pride lions does a wildebeest.

On Monday, December 16, SAGU and its defense, ranked No. 5 in the entire NAIA, will entertain Arlington Baptist College at 6:00pm.

The Lady Patriots, 3-3, will bring a team of offensive sharpshooters to the Sheaffer Center.

Ranked No. 10 in Division 2 of the NCCAA* Arlington Baptist is scoring 68 points a night. They are doing it by converting 39% of their shots, including an average of 9.1 three-pointers per game.

They came up short against the NAIA’s University of St. Thomas (Tx), 68-58, but knocked off NCAA D3 Sul Ross State University (Tx), 84-66.

The Lady Pats can play defense as well, permitting 62.8 ppg. While they don’t rack up a lot of rebounds, they do coerce their foes into turnovers. ABC has averaged 15.2 steals in their first six games.

SAGU, 5-4, is no slouch on defense at all.

In fact, the opposition has converted just .324 of their shots, a figure that ranks No. 4 among the 102 teams in Division I.

They are especially stingy outside of the arc. Enemy shooters have netted just .277 of their three-point tries, which grades with the nation’s toughest.

Among the evidence of the Lady Lions’ prowess are the 14 steals per game they average, which rates No. 9.

Plus, the team surrenders only 55.2 ppg, the fifth best in the NAIA.

During the team’s recent string of three consecutive 20+ win seasons, they allowed 55 points or less each year.

Their 2-3 zone thwarts opponents with quickness, traps and more depth than in years.

SAGU has shown solid progress in many areas, mostly in taking care of the ball. They are +5.3 in turnover margin, making 14.2 and forcing 19.6.

Offensively, Team Purple scores 61.6 ppg, their most in four seasons. They make 5.6 trifectas per game.

The squad looks to improve inside the paint where a young interior needs to take command of the glass. Currently they are being outboarded by a 39.9 to 37.9 count.

SAGU can afford the increase in aggression. They average only 14.4 fouls called against them per game. Only two teams are called for less.

The Lady Lions and Lady Patriots should prove to be a battle of contrasts; unrelenting defense against good perimeter shooters.

Statistical comparisons of each team’s players to watch are posted below.

A year ago the teams met in Waxahachie. SAGU overcame a 30-25 deficit en route to a 72-52 triumph.

Conference games begin in January; Lady Lions meet ranked teams

SAGU will break for Christmas and New Years before returning to the court for the start of the Sooner Athletic Conference season.

The Lady Lions play at No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist University (7-1) on January 2 before facing No. 28 Mid-America Christian University (8-1) at home on Jan. 4.

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

*NCCAA  -  National Christian College Athletic Association

TEAM LEADERS / Players to Watch

Arlington Baptist Category SAGU Lady Lions
Morgan Hale 19.0 Scoring PPG Nia Winston 17.7
Jirah Rodriguez 8.7
Taylor Hill 7.2
Diamond Martinez .556
Morgan Hale .426
Shooting % Sierra Hankins .563
Jirah Rodriguez .410
Tori Wise 12-32, .375
Morgan Hale 19-52, .365
Hannah McGaughy 9-26, .346
3-Pointers % Jirah Rodriguez 12, .400
Nia Winston 21-59, .356
Taylor Hill 10, .232
Kelsey Mouer 10-12, .833 FT% Taylor Hill 11-13, .846
Nia Winston 46-64, .719
Shanice Hill 4.3 Assists Nia Winston 2.8
Diamond Martinez 20, 3.3
Shanice Hill 6, 2.3
Tori Wise 6, 2.7
Steals Taylor Hill 19, 2.1
Nia Winston 16, 1.8
Shaquita Roberts 14, 1.6
N/A Rebounds Shaquita Roberts 6.1
Laken Ward 5.8
Jirah Rodriguez 4.1
Charity Page 4.1
N/A Blocked Shots Shaquita Roberts 16


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