OKLAHOMA CITY- St. Gregory's University (5-6, 1-3 SAC) pulled off the, 74-69, upset over No. 10 Mid-America Christian University (Okla.)(10-5, 2-2 SAC). This is the Cavaliers first ever victory over a defending national champion, and their first win over a team ranked in the top 10, since they beat Freed-Hardeman University on March 22, 2014. MACU jumped out to an early lead in the first half, and took an eight point lead (42-34) into halftime. From the start of the second half, SGU came out swinging to erase the deficit, tie the game, take the lead, and then pull away after a back and forth final half.
Rodney Smith (SR/Chicago, Ill.) (24 pts.) and Jordan Rutherford (SR/Houston, Texas) (23 pts, 8 reb.) led the offensive attack for the Cavs. Kilder Gonzalez (JR/Maracaibo, Venezuela) and Zachary Lemusu (SR/San Diego, Calif.) each added 10 points of their own. The Cavaliers are the No. 4 free throw shooting team in the nation (75.2%), and they shot better than their season average, by converting 31 of 35 (88.57%) shots from the charity stripe. Rutherford was a perfect 12 for 12 at the line, while Gonzalez went 6 for 6, and Lemusu went 4 for 4.
MACU came into the game as the top scoring offense in NAIA Div. I, averaging 97.86 points per game. The Cavaliers held the Evangels to a season low, 69 points. SGU also out rebounded the No. 6 rebounding team in the nation on Saturday evening. Cavalier defenders held MACU's top scorers, Olajuwon Garner (7 pts.) and Tyler Chaisson (4 pts.) to single digit scoring performances. This was only the second time so far this season that a defense has held Chaisson to a single digit point total.
Next up for SGU, is a home bout against University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Thur. Jan. 12, at 8 p.m.