SAGU advances to K.C. with win

Lions edge Xavier, will face Morningside in round of 16 Friday evening

SAGU Athletics
Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball players celebrate on the floor  after defeating Xavier University, 61-60, on Monday night in Alexandria, La. in the second round of the NAIA national tournament. The Lions advance to the final 16 in Kansas City, Mo. and will play Morningside University on Friday evening.

ALEXANDRIA, La. — The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team received a first-round bye in the NAIA Tournament and faced Xavier University in the second round.

In true late game fashion, the Lions were able to take the lead back with their effort on both ends and finish out the game as they’ve been doing all season. Clutch free throws by Nathan Bailey closed the game with a Lion victory, 61-60.

Finishing out games has been a signature for this Lions team and will continue to help them in pursuit of a national championship. 

Joshua Kashila led the Lions with 18 points and five rebounds, and Bailey also had 18 points and four rebounds. Joel Polius brought in reight points and nine rebounds.

The Lions forced 19 turnovers.

In a matchup that featured two powerhouses, neither team would concede anything on the defensive end, it was a grind it out game.

Early in the first half it was back and forth, but a 9-0 run by Xavier put them ahead 25-16. Head coach Delton Deal called a quick timeout to rally the Lions and his efforts paid off as the Lions went on their own 8-0 run late in the second quarter to take a 32-31 lead into halftime.

The Lions jumped out to extend their lead in the second half, but Xavier put up a strong fight, and a lead change late in the game put Xavier up 57-55.

The Lions will play Morningside University in the third round of the NAIA National Tournament on Friday. Start time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.