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Winston pours in 26, but SAGU falls to MACU, 66-52

Next three games at home, starting with Northwood on Tuesday

SAC Standings:

roberts-shoots-vs-obuOKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma  --  The women’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University couldn’t overcome their season-long shortage of offense in a 66-52 defeat at the hands of Mid-America Christian University on the road on Saturday afternoon.

SAGU dominated the offensive glass, 16-9, and had the edge in rebounds, 41-38, as well as in free throws.

The lack of secondary scorers proved costly again as the hosts placed three players in double figures. Senior Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS , Panola College) led the Lady Lions with 26 points.

Overall, MACU made 43% of their shots while the Purple Pride converted just 29% of their 58 shots. Twenty-five turnovers also short-changed the offense’s bid for more attempts.

The loss dropped SAGU’s record to 12-14 for the season. It was their fifth setback in their last seven games. They are 6-10 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Lady Evangels are 15-10 and 9-7.

Team Purple battled closely for most of the first half, leading early 7-2. Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS ) fed Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS ) inside for a layup that had the team trailing 21-18. But over the final 5:07 of the half they were outscored 10-3.

Three minutes into the second half the hosts had extended their lead to 39-23.

SAGU drew to within 44-36 when Winston made an old-fashioned three point play, then took a pass from Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS ) and launched a triple with 12:18 to play.

Four minutes later the Evangels broke the game open with a 17-5 run and a 61-41 upper hand.

The Lady Lions still wouldn’t fold. Another three-point play by Winston and a driving layup by Hill – thanks to a pass from Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian ), capped an 8-0 run.

Down 61-49 and just 2:17 on the clock, SAGU ran out of time.

Winston poured in 26 points for the Lady Lions, the 16th time this winter she scored 20 or more points. The 5-foot-6 guard added three takeaways.

Hill netted seven points and had three assists. Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS ) and Cox both scored six and latched onto nine rebounds.

Cox passed for three assists. Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS ) grabbed five boards.

“We can’t seem to get consistent scoring from anyone except for Nia,” Head Coach Arlon Beadles said.

“Nia is doing a great job but the rest of the team can’t seem to find a way to knock down shots,” he added. “Our defense is excellent. We out rebounded them.”

“We hope to get better as we close out the season!”

A month ago in the first meeting of the teams, Mid-America snapped a 42-42 tie and went on to win by an almost identical score, 65-52. SAGU led 34-26 with 14:41 to go.

Winston and the Lady Lions have four games left in the regular season, the next three of them at home. She can win the SAC scoring championship with a consistent finish.

Presently she is averaging 18.8 points per game.

Roberts, also a senior, has a narrow conference lead in blocked shots.

As a team the squad can end the regular season with a .500 mark by taking three of the four games.

SAGU has four remaining games in the regular season, three at home.

Northwood University (9-17 / 2-14 in SAC) visits the Sheaffer Center on Tuesday at 6:00pm. The Lady Lions took the first meeting on January 21, 87-43, in Cedar Hill.

Next Saturday is a 1:00pm clash against Wayland Baptist University (15-10 / 12-4 in SAC). The home finale is on Thursday, Feb. 27, versus St. Gregory’s University.

The post-season starts when the team competes in the SAC tournament, March 5-8, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. All eleven teams are entered.

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

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