The SAGU men's basketball team entered the second half of conference play on the outside looking in at the conference tournament. They would need to change their fortunes against 6-2 in the conference, Langston University, on Saturday night in the Full Life Center.
The first half looked as if the Lions would have a chance to turn their conference position inside out as they led by nine points six and half minutes into the game. The 18-9 lead came on a Cainan Drew three pointer.
Then with 7:28 remaining in the half as Jason Blake hit the second of two free throws, the Lions led 24-14. The rest of the first half saw Langston whittle away at SAGUís lead. Three times in the last 98 seconds of the half, Langston would trail by two points three times, unable to wrestle the lead from SAGU. SAGU was able to hang on to a 38-36 halftime lead.
As the second half opened, the SAGU Lions slipped and fell behind Langston. Three and one-half minutes into the last 20 minutes, Langston had taken a 46-40 lead on an 8-0 run.
Two minutes later, Matt Daniels on the power of three straight lay-ups had the Lions back to a 46-46 tie. Then after a 48-48 tie, SAGU took control of the game.
With 8:40 left in the game, Peter Lawrence gave SAGU a ten point lead, 69-59.
Over the next six minutes, after Jeremy Carey hit the first of two free throws, the SAGU Lions had built an 18 points lead, 85-67. This lead would never again drop below 12 points as SAGU grabbed a critical conference win, 87-75.
Over the final 20 minutes, the Lions shot an impressive .594, hitting 19 of 32 shots from field to Langstonís .310 second half percentage.
Matt Daniels led the attack literally, not only by driving the Lions back into the game in the second half, but also with a team leading 20 points.
Carey was next on the scoring parade with 14 points, Jermaine Mulley posted 13 points, and Julio Osorio scored 11. Osorio added another double-double to his collection with a game leading 19 rebounds.
The win gives SAGU two conference wins, giving them the same record as Texas College, 2-7. The other two-win team, Bacone College, was playing Saturday night against Paul Quinn. These three teams are half of a six-team collection that has three wins or less.
Four of these six teams will make the conference tournament.
Monday night, the Men's Basketball team will play Bacone College in the Full
Life Center at 7:30 p.m. Bacone is one of the six afore mentioned teams, fighting for a spot in the conference tournament. SAGU will have a chance once again to make up some ground.