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Kansas City, Missouri – March 15, 2017- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) men’s basketball team is advancing to the second round of the NAIA National Championship Tournament after their 81-75 win over Talladega College (22-11).  This is the first time SAGU has won a first round game since their 2 nd place finish in 2013.

“Talladega is well-coached and made two big runs on us,” explains SAGU Head Coach Donnie Bostwick , “Different players kept stepping up, starting with Lance (Tipton) and ending with Keyunta (Watkins).  We are a group of 8’s (from the story of David) that just believe God can help us do anything.”

The contest came down to the wire and was a one possession game up until the final 38 seconds.

At the start, SAGU freshman Lance Tipton came up huge for the Lions and scored SAGU’s first ten points.  With 9:31 left in the first half, SAGU took the biggest lead of the game when Keyunta Watkins hit two free throws to put SAGU ahead 23-11.

The Tornadoes weren’t down and out by any stretch.  In the final nine minutes of the half, TC went on a 20-6 run to regain the 31-29 lead at halftime.  Right at the buzzer, SAGU freshman Dareny Sims forced a turnover and went on to score a lay-up for the Lions.

To start the second half, SAGU’s Isaak Rowe made a three pointer to give the Lions the one point lead.  TC quickly regained control for the next four minutes of play.

With 15:02 left in the game, SAGU’s Rowe once again sank the three to give SAGU the lead and they were able to keep it for the remainder of the game.

TC’s Tauren Bailey hit two free throws with 2:18 left on the clock to make it a 67-65 game.  On the next trip down the court, SAGU’s Dareny Sims grabbed the offensive rebound with the put back.  Next, Lance Tipton scored on a fast break to give SAGU the six point boost.

With 38 seconds left in the ball game, TC’s Jordan Washington scored in the paint, once again making it a one possession game, 75-72.

In the final 34 seconds, SAGU went five for six at the free throw line.  Freshman Lance Tipton went a perfect four-for-four in the final seconds.

Even when they were down, Tipton believed the Lions would come through with a win, “I just wanted to stay in my role and play freely for each other.  Once we got Key going, it was a wrap!”

“The game was a battle, but we kept our faith and believed that the Man above that He would help us fight and get through the adversity at all costs,” explains Watkins.

Watkins led all-scorers with 25 points.  Tipton wasn’t far behind with 22 points. Isaak Rowe had 12 points and Josh Williams scored 11.  Williams also led SAGU in rebounds with nine.

TC’s Jordan Washington ranks no. two in the nation for scoring and SAGU was able to keep him to 16 points.

The Lions get one day of rest before they are back at it on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 10:45am.  They will play the winner of Carroll (MT) and Mount Mercy (IA).

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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