Six Golden Eagles in Double Figures Lead John Brown to 85-74 Win over Drovers
SHAWNEE, Okla. (March 1, 2013) — Top-seeded John Brown earned a spot in the 2013 Sooner Athletic Conference title game on the heels of six players finishing with double digit points, sending the Golden Eagles (27-5) to an 85-74 win over fourth-seeded Science and Arts (17-9) on Friday evening at Mabee Arena.
JBU finished the contest shooting at a 52.8 percent clip, landing 11-of-22 attempts taken from behind the arc. Senior guard E.J. McWoods and freshman forward D’Shon Taylor both came off the bench to lead John Brown in scoring, earning 15 points each. Freshman guard Kofi Josephs went 3-of-5 from behind the arc to chip in with 12 points while freshman guard Kent High and senior guard Coleson Rakestraw each contributed 10 points in the winning effort.
JBU jetted out to a quick 11-2 lead on the heels of three triples, two by Galliguez and another by Josephs. The Golden Eagles made five of its first seven shots before the momentum swung the way of the Drovers.
Over the next 8:59, USAO pieced together a 25-10 run, placing JBU into a 27-21 hole. The Golden Eagles committed five turnovers over that span, missing nine of 11 shots attempted. After John Brown head coach Clark Sheehy called a full timeout, Josephs immediately hit his second triple of the game, halting the run and pulling the Golden Eagles to within three, 27-24.
Facing a five-point disadvantage, 33-28, John Brown rallied to capture the lead for good. Taylor converted a conventional three-point play preceded a McWoods field goal that tied the score at 33. With 2:07 left in the first half after a Drover split attempt at the free throw line, another McWoods bucket handed the Golden Eagles a 35-34 lead, an advantage it wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Taylor chipped in with a field goal to accompany a pair of free throws to close out the half with JBU holding a slim five-point lead, 39-34. The John Brown defense held strong over the last 4:10, not allowing a single Science and Arts field goal to end the half.
Despite missing two free throws to open the half followed by a Norris Rumph three-point play, Galliguez responded with an old-fashioned triple of his own, returning the Golden Eagle lead to five. USAO would whittle the deficit all the way down to two points, 46-44, but back-to-back field goals by Taylor and McWoods extended the lead to seven. Another McWoods trey pushed the lead to 10, 56-46, with 12:17 remaining in the second half.
John Brown began to pull away, taking a game-high 19-point lead after a trio of three-pointers from High and Rakestraw. Over a 5:50 span, the Golden Eagles went on a 19-10 run, grabbing a commanding 75-56 lead while erasing valuable minutes off the clock.
The Drovers continued to press despite the lopsided score, whittling the lead down to just 15, but Josephs’ third triple of the game provided the dagger for John Brown that returned the difference to 18 with just over three minutes left in the game. Another 8-0 run posted by the Drovers was met with a pair of Collin Hart conversions from the charity stripe, concluding JBU’s 85-74 win.
The John Brown reserves proved to be the difference, outscoring the Science and Arts bench, 44-25. Although both squads secured 36 rebounds each, USAO earned 16 second-chance points, limiting the Golden Eagles to just 12. Taylor and Josephs led the JBU rebounding effort as each secured six caroms apiece.
The Drovers shot 38.8 percent (26-of-67) from the field, paced by Norris Rumph’s 21 points. Jahseth Llyod grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in the loss.
With the win, the Golden Eagles earn a berth to the 2012 SAC tournament championship game, in addition to setting a program record with its 27th victory of the season. John Brown will face seventh-seeded Oklahoma City on Saturday, March 2, set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m.
John Brown is searching for its second tournament title in four years and with it, an automatic berth to the 2013 NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City that runs from March 13-19.