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Senior led league in scoring, caps career with 1,142 points

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) just announced its post-season honors and one of the all-time greats from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Nia Winston, made the grade.

A 5-foot-6 senior from Garland, a northeastern Dallas suburb, she was the top scorer in the Sooner Athletic Conference; no small feat considering the league had this year’s National Champions (Oklahoma City University) and a semi-finalist (John Brown University).

Winston was named to the Honorable Mention list of NAIA All-Americans.

The SAC didn’t have a single selection on the First Team, which had 10 players. Jalissa Council (Oklahoma Baptist University) and Yvonte Neal (OKCU) were named to the Second Team.

Sierra Shipley (John Brown University) garnered Third Team recognition.

One thing the trio had in common; a winning season. The Stars were 27-4, while OBU went 29-6. The Golden Eagles of JBU, 28-8, came within a basket of knocking off Oklahoma City in the semi-finals.

SAGU rose from 9-21 a year ago to 14-18 this winter. Considering the move from the Red River Athletic Conference to the Sooner, the progress was made against a steeper climb in competition.

“This is a wonderful honor,” responded SAGU Head Coach Arlon Beadles. “Nia was the leading scorer in the Sooner conference this year.”

“Her hard work to bounce back after tearing her Achilles tendon a year ago was amazing!” he said.

“Nia is one of the quickest players ever to wear a SAGU uniform,” he added, praising the player whose playmaking, on offense and defense, usually carried the team. “It was a pleasure and joy to coach her.”

The veteran coach added that “She will be missed, but I know God has great plans for her life.”

Winston was a prep standout at Garland’s Lakeview Centennial High School. After a season at Panola College (Carthage, Tx) she transferred to SAGU.

As a sophomore she led the team with a 13.8 points per game average. That included 63 three-point baskets and a 77% performance on the foul line, where she was true on 102-of-132 attempts.

Winston racked up 69 steals to pace the Purple Pride.

A fast start as a junior, 15.4 ppg, was cut short early in her eighth game when she was injured in a no-contact drive from the wing. Her request for a medical red-shirt was denied.

After nearly nine months of rehabilitation she took to the court as a senior.

Blessed with an accelerator and a 100-watt smile, she turned in an outstanding season. Winton scored at an 18.9 ppg clip.

She reached double-figures in 26 of her final 27 games.

Only Oklahoma City, who captured their seventh national title last week, could keep her from double-digits in an eight-point effort on the road. That was after bucketing 24 against the 'Galactic Wonders' in a 77-65 loss in the Sheaffer Center.

Winston scored 20 or more in 18 of 32 games, including 12 times against conference foes.

Against Mid-America Christian University (18-14 record) and Southwestern Christian University (11-19) she averaged 24.0 ppg.

The team that most effective against her was Texas Wesleyan University (15-16), who limited her 14.0 ppg. (see the complete SAC list below)

Her 604 total points was No. 12 in the nation.

She had the same number of three-point baskets (70) as she did steals. Her treys ranked No. 21 in the NAIA while her thefts came in at No. 27.

Even after a year off, her stroke from the charity stripe did not suffer. She tossed in 174-of-226, a completion percentage of .770.

The congenial hoopster capped her career in purple by scoring 1,142 points for a 16.3 scoring norm. This winter averaged 17 shots per game.

Winton also averaged over two steals, two assists and about three rebounds per contest.

Her best performance in points occurred this season at Paul Quinn College when she knocked down 28 points.

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

Winston’s game-by-game totals as a senior:

Nia Winston vs. Sooner Athletic Conference

Opponent PPG/Points Points in Two Meetings
Mid-America Christian University 24.0 / 48 22, 26
Southwestern Christian University 24.0 / 48 23, 25
Science and Arts of Oklahoma 23.0 / 46 24, 22
St. Gregory's University 22.0 / 44 22, 22
Oklahoma Baptist University 19.5 / 39 14, 25
Northwood University 19.5 / 39 20, 19
John Brown University 16.5 / 33 14, 19
Wayland Baptist University 16.5 / 33 15, 18
Oklahoma City University 16.0 / 32 24, 8
Texas Wesleyan University 14.0 / 28 10, 18


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