Golden Eagles Win at Buzzer

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 20, 2006) — Kendra McCormick scored a layup just before the final buzzer sounded to give the John Brown Golden Eagles a 72-70 upset victory over 24th-ranked Oklahoma Baptist Monday in Siloam Springs. The win puts John Brown (18-10, 10-6) in a tie with Lubbock Christian for third place in the Sooner Athletic Conference and keeps the Golden Eagles’ NAIA Tournament hopes alive. McCormick finished with 18 points. Lesli Fanning scored 14 points and broke her own JBU season 3-point field goal record. The record now stands at 73 and counting. Jordan Gipson scored 12 points, and Ashley Wettengel added 10.

The game looked promising from the beginning for the Golden Eagles as they jumped out to a 14-5 lead with 11:35 left in the first half. But the Lady Bison found their shooting touch and launched a 10-0 run of their own in the next four minutes to take a 15-14 lead. John Brown pushed the margin back to five, but by halftime, the Golden Eagles led just 34-33.

In the second half, Tabetha Eaton converted a three-point play for Oklahoma Baptist (21-7, 9-7) to give the Lady Bison a 41-40 lead with 13:53 remaining. At 10:14, Wettengel missed a short-range shot near the basket but grabbed her own rebound and zipped a pass to Fanning on the perimeter where she nailed a 3-point bucket that put John Brown back up 47-45. Eaton struck again, however, at 5:09 when she gave Oklahoma Baptist a 60-59 lead, but McCormick scored on a Gipson assist to take the lead back 61-60 at 4:57.

A free throw by Jordyn West pushed John Brown’s lead back to 68-62 with just 1:36 left to play, but Oklahoma Baptist’s Jennifer Jupin hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to 68-65. After two Golden Eagle free throws by Alicia Baer, Jupin hit another trey at 0:31 to pull the Lady Bison within 70-68. Eaton then hit a bucket with just 12 seconds left to tie the game at 70-70. The Golden Eagles fought through the Lady Bison full-court press and got the ball to Gipson at the left elbow. She dribbled into the lane and flashed a bounce pass left to McCormick cutting toward the baseline, and the senior post laid the ball into the basket as time expired.

The Golden Eagles shot 85.2% from the free-throw line (23-for-27), which allowed them to take full advantage of 25 Lady Bison fouls.

Eaton led all scorers with 20 points. Rachel Heins scored 16, and Jupin added 10.