PLAINVIEW, Texas — The Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions topped Wayland Baptist University 66-60 on Saturday at the Hutcherson Center and kept their three-game win streak alive and kicking.
With the win, the Lions (16-4, 6-2) are now in first place in the Sooner Athletic Conference. They knocked Wayland Baptist down to third place.
“We won our second game in a row as a result of defense, rebounding and timely execution on offense down the stretch,” said Donnie Bostwick, the SAGU head men's basketball coach. “It’s hard to explain sometimes after a game the exact truth to the result. I will just say things fell into place in an unusually favorable manner all week.”
From the first tip, though, Bostwick and his Lions started the game off with a bang.
Former Midlothian High School athlete Lance Tipton made a 3-pointer during the first possession of the game and within minutes Adrian Palacios scored five quick points to give SAGU the 8-0 lead. The Lions held the lead for the majority of the first half until Wayland Baptist made a run and tied the game at 30 at halftime.
The (13-7, 5-3) Pioneers were able to take the lead from SAGU early in the second half, behind the power of an offensive surge and two Maurice Redmond free throws that extended the Pioneers lead 40-33. Within three minutes, though, the Lions wrestled the lead back and capped their third-quarter run with a critical Isaak Rowe basket.
Adrian Palacios, who added two steals, led the Lions in scoring with 14 points and Keyunta Watkins scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Wayland Baptist's JJ Culver came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points.
Despite the Pioneers holding the edge in both 3-point shooting percentage and free throws, the nationally-ranked Lions outmuscled and outrebounded Wayland Baptist 46-33.
SAGU will have an opportunity to tie their season-high win streak of five games when they meet Texas Wesleyan University at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Sheaffer Center. Texas Wesleyan beat the Lions 92-78 and snapped a two-game streak on Dec. 3.