Siloam Springs, Ark. (October 30, 2006) - The packed house at the Murray Sells Athletic Center did not go home disappointed Monday night, as the John Brown Golden Eagles defeated Hillsdale Free Will Baptist (Okla.) 92-47 in the annual season-opening Toilet Paper Game. Junior center Joel Tesis scored the Golden Eagles’ first field goal of the season 38 seconds into the game, prompting a shower of toilet paper rolls from the stands. Tesis finished the game with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
John Brown (1-0) took a few minutes to get comfortable on the floor offensively, but the Golden Eagle defense was sharp from the tip-off. They held Hillsdale (0-1) to 22% shooting and forced 9 turnovers in the first half. The Saints’ second half was no better, and they finished with 17 turnovers and a 21.2 field-goal percentage (11-for-52).
The Golden Eagles were not exactly flawless on their end, committing 18 turnovers, but they out-rebounded the Saints 48-22, and shot 61.7% (37-for-60) from the field, including 52.6% (10-for-19) from 3-point range.
John Brown raced out to a 20-3 lead in the first nine minutes of action, and went into halftime leading 49-24. Back-to-back baskets by Wes Brown on Adam Workman assists gave the Golden Eagles a 73-28 advantage with 9:49 remaining, and the Saints only got as close as 36 for the remainder of the game.
Tesis dominated the inside game with his rebounding and 8-of-11 shooting. Sophomore forward Cody Page shot a perfect 5-for-5, including three treys, and scored 14 points. Junior transfer point guard Alex Green scored 8 points and handed out 7 assists in just 13 minutes of play, and Brown scored 9 points in nine minutes. Every healthy player on the Golden Eagle roster played and scored.
Erasmo Beltran led Hillsdale with 11 points, and Corey Clark scored 9. Three Saints scored 8 points, including Jason Lacy, who tallied 5 rebounds to lead his team.
After the game, John Brown head coach John Sheehy commented, “We played with good focus and execution. All in all, it was a good opener, and we appreciate the crowd. There was a lot of excitement out there.”
Besides the toilet paper throw and the offensive fireworks, the fans were treated to some extra excitement at halftime when All-American and national three-point record-holder Brandon Cole had his jersey retired. Fellow former Golden Eagles Alex Terry presented Cole with a framed blue jersey, while the gold #10 was unveiled on the gymnasium wall next to the John Brown’s national championship team photos. Rob Miller, the NAIA’s Director of Champions of Character Initiatives also presented Cole with the 2006 Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award.
The Golden Eagles play Friday and Saturday in the Southwest Assemblies of God University Classic in Waxahachie, Texas. They will return home Nov. 7 to host Mid-America Christian (Okla.) at 8:00.