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Waxahachie, Texas- March 4, 2016 – The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) men’s basketball team’s bid to return to the NAIA National Championships f or the fourth year in a row have fallen short.  SAGU lost to Mid-America Christian University in the quarterfinals of the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) tournament.  The Evangels topped the Lions 86-81.

The Lions and Evangels have split the series in regular-season play.  Just five days before, SAGU beat MACU at home, 86-76.

Both teams came into the game ready for a physical match-up and it was intense from the first whistle.

The Evangels jumped out to the early lead and kept it for all but two minutes late in the game.

The first half ended with a made basket by MACU’s Nick Tate .   The Evangels led 33-24 going into the locker room.

First half shooting was tough for SAGU, they only shot 24% from the field compared to MACU’s 50%.  SAGU was able to stay in the first half by forcing 10 MACU turnovers.

MACU’s sharp shooting continued in the second half and with 14 minutes left in the game, they were ahead 50-28.

At that point, SAGU was able to start the battle back by shooting free throws.  The Lions went six-for-six from the line within a one minute time period.  Next up, SAGU’s Rishaad Alexander forced a MACU turnover and capitalized for two points.  MACU’s next time down the court was much the same, SAGU stole the ball and Alexander followed up with a three pointer.  With 11:26, SAGU was within 12 points with a score of 54-42.

With 6:12 left to play, Keyunta Watkins hit a three to put SAGU within seven.  SAGU went on a 10-five point run to tie the game at 71 with 2:15 left.  MACU’s Nick Tate made two free-throws in a row but SAGU’s Rishaad Alexander was able to strike again, scoring a quick five points to give SAGU their first lead of the night, 76-73, with 0:58 left to play.

The final minute of the game, MACU went on to score 13 points, seven of those being free throws (partly thanks to a SAGU technical).  In the end, the Evangels walked away with the series tie-breaker, 86-81.

SAGU’s Keyunta Watkins scored 24 points for the Lions. Rishaad Alexander had 16 points and eight assists. Emmanuel Adoyi had 11 points and 12 rebounds.  Isaak Rowe also added 11 points.

MACU’s Bryon Miller had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lions ended this part of the season 20-12 and 10-8 in the SAC.

Up next, SAGU wil play in the NCCAA Regional Tournament at Colorado Christian.  The tournament begins on March 10, 2016.

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.
Contact: Natalie Tristan, SAGU SID, [email protected]

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