Golden Eagles Open Season With 82-36 Romp of Ecclesia

Lauren Rodgers (20) pushes the ball up the court

Lauren Rodgers (20) pushes the ball up the court

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (October 30, 2012) — Lauren Rogers posted a game-high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field while Sierra Shipley contributed 15 in the Golden Eagles' season-opening victory tonight in Springdale, Ark., an 82-36 victory over NCCAA-member Ecclesia.

Despite shaking early nerves, the young John Brown (1-0) squad never trailed throughout tonight's contest.

"This is a different environment than we're used to playing in," said head coach Jeff Soderquist of the small confines of Har-Ber High School's practice gym. "There are always some jitters playing in the first game of the season, but I think we did a great job overcoming them. Despite a bunch of missed shots in the first half, we really settled down in the second half and started making our shots."

The Golden Eagles shot 56.3 percent in the second half, up remarkable from its 35.5 percent effort in the first frame. John Brown was able to showcase its transition offense tonight, constantly pushing the ball up the court quickly, frustrating the Royals' defense.

"We're really emphasizing running the court this season," Soderquist admitted. "We had a lot of opportunities to do that tonight because our defense held them to a low score rate."

The Golden Eagle defense held Ecclesia to a meager 25 percent shooting and out-rebounded its opposition, 55-27. Morgan Ankrom's game-high 12 rebounds paced the John Brown defensive effort.

JBU shot particularly well from beyond the arc, hitting 11-of-29 three-point opportunities en route to the big win.

The final Golden Eagle in double figures was freshman Tristan Carrasquillo, finishing with 10 points to accompany her five rebounds and two assists.

"I thought Morgan (Ankrom) did a great job for us on the boards and we were able to get Tristan (Carrasquillo) some good minutes, so there were multiple bright spots for us this evening," added Soderquist.

John Brown was also able to welcome back ailing sophomore guard Lindsey McHenry who continues to recover from an illness. She saw limited minutes towards the end of the game and sank the only bucket she attempted.

The Golden Eagles will hit the court on Tuesday (Nov. 6) when it opens its NAIA slate of games, welcoming Lyon (Ark.) to Bill George Arena. The John Brown home opener is slated to tip off at 6:00 p.m.

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Lauren Rodgers (20) pushes the ball up the court

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Lauren Rodgers (20) pushes the ball up the court