Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 4, 2003) - The 14th ranked Golden Eagles of John Brown University fought off some early game jitters to go on to defeat Bacone College 67-59 in the season opener. Excitement filled the arena as the tipoff opened the 2003-04 Golden Eagle season. Bacone pulled a reversal on the toilet paper game when their fans tossed toilet paper on the floor on the first Bacone basket causing a technical to be assessed to the home fans. That, coupled with the technical when the TP flew on the Golden Eagle first basket, put JBU at a deficit that took the first 16 minutes of the game to even out before frosh Adam Workman hit a trey to put the Golden Eagles in the lead at 30-29. A great tip-in by sophomore Drew Stanek off a Workman three-point attempt tied the score at 32-32 with 2:15 left to play in the opening period. At the half buzzer, Bacone’s Marko Malesevic hit a three from the corner that put Bacone up 38-34 at intermission.
As the second half got underway, JBU began to play more like the team that made the NAIA tournament last season. The Golden Eagles scored the first 15 points of the second period to move to a 49-38 lead before the Warriors could counteract the strong JBU offensive attack. Bacone gradually fought back to within 5 points at 58-53 before a nice assist by sophomore Alex Terry allowed junior transfer Ryan Woodson to be open for a lay-up increasing the lead to 7. Bacone was not able to come closer than this seven-point deficit despite the Golden Eagles going scoreless for a 3-minute period in the closing minutes of the game.
Junior Reyjavick DeGracia with a double-double 15 points and 11 rebounds led JBU to the victory. Honorable Mention All American Brandon Cole pitched in 10 points while frosh Adam Workman and Woodson both tossed in 8 points.
Bryan Wesson led Bacone College with 19 points.
“At times we played well, but we were not consistent with the good play. We had spurts of good offensive play and then we seemed to have lulls that allowed them to stick with us,” said Coach John Sheehy after the victory. “DeGracia had a big game for us and it is good to see how his hard work and preparation are paying off. Opening the second half the way we did was the real key to the win. Had we not made that run, Bacone would have had the upper hand and we would have been fighting to stay with them. We must start shooting the ball better.”
JBU plays at home on Saturday against Park University at 3 pm.