JBU in close win over Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 22, 2004) — John Brown University hung on for a 63-60 win over Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Thursday evening in Siloam Springs. Strong defense and outstanding hustle in the second half allowed JBU to pull out the victory and move to 4-2 in Sooner Athletic Conference play. Lay-ups by Alex Terry and Reyjavick De Gracia just before the half gave JBU a 29-26 halftime lead.

The Golden Eagles fell behind 42-39 when the Drovers’ Raspanti Laneair hit two free throws with 13:39 remaining in the game. Scott Reasoner came back 12 seconds later with a three to tie the score at 42. Four straight points by Keith Miller of USAO allowed the visitors to take a 48-42 lead with 12:07 to go. This prompted a timeout by JBU coach John Sheehy to calm his team and attempt to regain the momentum. Following the timeout a quick two-pointer by Abdiel Mendieta started a run that allowed the Golden Eagles to take a one-point lead at the 8:03 mark. During that period, a steal by Ryan Woodson led to one free throw, a put back by Brandon Brown, a basket by Terry and a three-pointer by Mendieta brought the score to 52-51. Woodson’s two baskets later in the game gave JBU a 61-57 lead before De Gracia bucketed two free throws after a basket by the Drovers’ Miller putting the final score at 63-60.

Leading the JBU attack was Abdiel Mendieta with 16 points while Reyjavick De Gracia and Brandon Cole each chipped in 10 points. De Gracia and Brandon Brown led JBU in rebounding with 8 and 9 respectively. Keith Miller and Mark Mayfield led USAO with 15 points each.

“I told our players that on the way to having a good year you have to win some ugly games, this was one of those games tonight,” elaborated Sheehy after the win. “I felt like this past week was the best week of practice and preparation all season, so I was a bit surprised to see our guys struggle at times during the game. Our defense deserves all the credit for the victory since we were able to hold them to 39% field goal shooting. We had another great crowd tonight that gave our team a huge boost and helped us pull this one out.”

JBU moves to 4-2 in Sooner Athletic Conference play and improves to 16-3 overall. The Golden Eagles host Northwestern Oklahoma State University Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.