MOORE, Okla. — Southwestern Assemblies of God University traveled to Oklahoma to play No. 2-ranked Mid-American Christian University on Saturday afternoon. The Lions (13-3, 5-3) had a lead late in the game, but couldn’t close it out. The Evangels (17-0, 8-0) avoided their first loss of the season as they hit their free throws down the stretch to get the win, 90-86.
Sophomore Nykolas Mason put together another strong performance as he netted a game-high 36 points to go with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. He has scored 30+ points in three of his last four contests.
Junior Josh Kashila scored 11 while pulling down a team-high 7 rebounds. Freshman Howard Turner gave SAGU a big boost off the bench with 13 points and 6 rebounds of his own.
SAGU shot 44 percent (32-72) from the field including 38 percent (11-29) from behind the arc.
If the Lions have one weakness it has been free throw shooting. It reared its ugly head in this one as they shot just 52 percent (11-21) from the charity stripe.
Senior Kentton Williams hit the first basket of the game for SAGU, unfortunately, it came after seven scoreless minutes. MACU led 17-2 with 12:54 to go in the first half.
SAGU woke up quickly as they pieced together an 11-0 run of their own to cut the margin to 17-13.
A deep 3 by Turner made it a one-possession game (20-17).
MACU converted a 3-pointer of its own to push the lead to 33-24 with just under six minutes remaining.
The Lions roared back with a 13-4 run of their own to tie the game at 37-37 with 3:38 left in the first half.
MACU showed why they are a tough squad as they answered with a 10-2 run to take a 47-39 lead into halftime.
Mason scored 8 straight points to open up the second half as MACU led by just 2 points 47-45.
Kashila was money from deep as he hit a couple of key 3-pointers to tie the game at 53-53 with about 15 minutes left to play.
The Lions gave MACU everything they wanted as they began to heat up and put together another big run. This time it was a 12-7 run to give SAGU a 65-60 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
Senior Mitchell McMullen scored five straight points as SAGU maintained a 72-66 lead with 5:53 to play.
Turner pulled down a huge offensive rebound for the Lions as they were clinging to a 78-75 advantage with 1:51 remaining.
MACU took advantage of back-to-back SAGU turnovers by hitting two massive shots from beyond the arc. MACU was on top just like that 81-78 with 1:02 left in the game.
Mason rattled home a couple of late 3s to give the Lions a chance. The score was 87-86 with :12 left, but Mason couldn’t cash in the final seconds as the Lions tried to steal the win with another late 3. MACU knocked down its free throws and stayed undefeated 90-86.
The Lions will be back at the Sheaffer Center on SAGU's campus for back-to-back home games against SAC opponents. They will begin their homestand on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. against Central Christian University (8-7, 1-6).