Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 20, 2006) - The John Brown Golden Eagles faced determined resistance and an unrelenting first-half shooting attack from Oklahoma Wesleyan Monday evening in Siloam Springs, but overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to win 72-57. Junior center Joel Tesis led John Brown (6-2) with 20 points, and senior guard Adam Workman followed with 18. Freshman forward Jesse Scroggins added 12.
Oklahoma Wesleyan (2-5) came out with guns blazing in the first half, shooting 53% and making six three-pointers en route to a 37-26 halftime lead. The Golden Eagles were unable to launch a run in the first half despite shooting nearly 46% from the field themselves.
The second half appeared to be nothing but more of the same as Oklahoma Wesleyan led by 10 as late as the 11:17 mark. But John Brown clamped down on defense and Oklahoma Wesleyan got into foul trouble. Four Eagles fouled out in the final 9:35, partially enabling the Golden Eagles to attempt 22 free throws in the second half and 29 in the game, of which they made 24 (82.8%). Workman tied the game 49-49 with two free throws at the 7:51 mark and then made it 51-49 at 7:44 with another pair. Though Oklahoma Wesleyan briefly retook the lead, the momentum had permanently shifted in John Brown’s direction.
The game quickly got out of hand for Oklahoma Wesleyan, which was not able to restart its perimeter shooting game. The Eagles made only four of their 19 field-goal attempts in the second half (21.1%) and were 2-for-6 from outside. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, shot 44% for the second half (11-for-25), but their 21-of-22 (95.5%) free-throw shooting in the second half insured the victory.
After the game, head coach John Sheehy commented on Oklahoma Wesleyan’s 32 percent swing in shooting between the halves. “The difference in the game was our opponent’s field-goal percentage,” he said. “They penetrated our defense easily in the first half.” Sheehy had praise for his two leading scorers and rebounders, as well as his two point guards, juniors Alex Green and Tyler Dees. “Adam and Joel played like seasoned veterans down the stretch. I thought Alex and Tyler really helped us defensively.” Workman pulled down 8 rebounds, and Tesis grabbed 5 to help the Golden Eagles win a 30-27 advantage on the boards.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Tahlequah, Okla., next Monday night to face Northeastern State at 7:00.