JBU Overcomes Halftime Deficit to Defeat Oklahoma Christian

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 21, 2004) — John Brown University (21-7) fell behind early, but came back with a strong second half performance to notch a 75-70 win over Oklahoma Christian University (16-10) on Saturday evening in Siloam Springs. Abdiel Mendieta, with 18 points, led a group of 4 Golden Eagles who scored in double figures. Scott Reasoner with 14, Brandon Brown with 12 and Pat Smits at 10 were the other players with 10 or more points. Brown also pulled down 9 rebounds and had 3 blocked shots in the winning effort.

Oklahoma Christian University came out of the locker room and blasted out to a 33-17 lead before JBU got untracked and closed the gap to 5 at the intermission as the Eagles led 35-30. A momentum shift in favor of the Golden Eagles came at the 4:43 point in the opening period when Brandon Cole hit a three pointer. This was followed by another trey from Scott Reasoner with 2:56 remaining and then two tremendous assists by Alex Terry to Brown for two 2-point field goals. The momentum continued in favor of JBU when Brown stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a contested lay up where he was fouled allowing him to make it a 3 point play putting the score at the halftime 35-30 in favor of the visiting Eagles.

In the second half alone, there were 4 ties and 7 lead changes before JBU finally took a 66-64 lead with 2:30 to play on a Pat Smit’s 2 pointer. From that point, the Golden Eagles extended the lead to 7 with 29 seconds to go and hung on for the final 5 point margin.

“The defensive effort of Brandon Cole on the SAC and NAIA leading scorer, Jared Merrill, in holding him to 11 points was the key to our win tonight,” said JBU Coach John Sheehy. “We started very slowly offensively in the first half, but got into the rhythm of our game better in the second half. The crowd was a real energy lift for our team tonight and we appreciate that. This was a good night overall for JBU basketball with the double win.”

With the victory, the Golden Eagles move up to 9-6 in the Sooner Athletic Conference and into sole possession of third place in the league race. JBU now faces the tough road trip to Texas to face Wayland Baptist on Thursday night and Lubbock Christian on Saturday afternoon.