Late Lead Evaporates as John Brown Falls to Evangel, 59-56

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (November 19, 2012) — A five-point lead with 5:21 wasn't enough as the Golden Eagles allowed the host Crusaders to piece together a 17-9 run to close out the game, handing Evangel (Mo.) a 59-56 victory tonight at the Ashcroft Center in Springfield.

Sophomore forward Morgan Ankrom converted two free throws at the 5:21 mark in the second half, handing the Golden Eagles a 49-44 lead. Despite converting both chances, John Brown only shot 13-of-24 (62.5 percent) from the charity stripe.

After the Crusaders were able to convert an old-fashioned three-point play with 14 seconds remaining, Kortni Barenberg's triple attempt was blocked back into her hands and the junior forward was fouled on the ensuing three-point attempt with seconds left on the clock.

With an opportunity to tie the game, Barenberg was unable to drain any of her three free throw attempts. With the loss, John Brown falls to 3-5 while Evangel (1-4) picked up its first victory of the season.

"We are still making mental mistakes, unfortunately," said head coach Jeff Soderquist. "We need to clean these things up immediately. It was a very disappointing loss."

The Crusaders jumped out to a 10-0 lead and didn't allow a JBU field goal for 8:55 until freshman freshman Brooke Barker's 15-foot jumper fell at the 11:05 mark. The bucket appeared to awake the Golden Eagle offense as John Brown, over the next 7:39, went on a 14-4 run that was capped off by sophomore forward Abbie Warren's triple, handing the visitors its first lead of the game, 16-14.

Evangel would jump back ahead, 20-16, but a bucket from junior guard Sierra Shipley and a three-pointer by freshman guard Tristan Carrasquillo pulled John Brown ahead at halftime, 21-20.

The second half was highlighted by nine total three-points, five of which were knocked down by Golden Eagle players.

Shipley's lone trey at the 13:13 mark tied the score at 32, finishing a 5-0 JBU run after the Crusaders had taken a 32-27 lead.

Both teams would trade baskets throughout the rest of the second half until a three-pointer from Barker gave John Brown a 47-42 advantage. The lead would return to five (49-44) after Akrom's pair of free throws.

The contest was marked by five ties in the second half. Both squads enjoyed a five-point advantage in the second half, but the Crusader defense stepped up when it needed to, not allowing a John Brown field goal in the last 1:37 to close out the game.

Shipley paced the Golden Eagle offense, scoring 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, adding four assists and four rebounds. Baker contributed eight points while Ankrom and Barenberg each added seven. Barenberg was the only Golden Eagle to knock down two triples in the contest.

John Brown won the battle on the boards, outrebounding Evangel by a 34-27 margin, lead by three players with four rebounds. JBU limited the Crusaders to a single offensive rebound.

Three Crusaders finished in double-digits as Sierra McSpadden netted a game-high 20 points.

The Golden Eagles will enjoy a long Thanksgiving break and return to the hardwood on Tuesday, Nov. 27, when it faces Lyon (Ark.) for the second time this season. While that contest will be played in Batesville, the Scots handed John Brown a 68-65 defeat earlier this season at Bill George Arena on Nov. 6.