Oklahoma City (March 3, 2011) - The fourth seeded JBU men’s basketball team suffered the first upset of the 2011 Twid’s Sooner Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament after falling 68-73 to fifth seeded Northwestern Okla. State in the wee hours of Friday morning .
In a game that was originally scheduled to begin at 9:45, the teams didn’t take the floor until 11:00 p.m. due to a triple overtime game between No. 3 Rogers State (Okla.) and No. 6 Lubbock Christian (Texas) earlier that evening. RSU eventually won 104-103.
For JBU (22-9), Sam Bartlett led the team with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Andrius Mikutis chipped in with 11, and Coleson Rakestraw added 10.
For NWOSU (21-10), Jonathan Freemyer finished with a game high 24 points and seven rebounds, followed by Orren Tims with 22. And Marshall Bell rounded out their double digit effort with 12.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but NWOSU managed to jump ahead by six, 16-10, after a three from Bell with 11:08 left in the first half.
JBU climbed within three, 18-21, after a three from Mikutis at the 3:40 mark. But the Rangers closed out the half on a 6-0 run to take a 27-18 lead into the locker rooms.
For the half, both teams struggled from the field with JBU only shooting 33.3 percent (7-21) compared to 31.3 percent (10-32) from NWOSU. JBU also struggled from the foul line with a 1-of-8 performance for 12.5 percent compared to 5-of-7 from the Rangers for 71.4 percent.
In the second half, the Rangers blasted out of the gates and sprinted to a 44-25 lead with 13:45 left. But the Golden Eagles wouldn’t be finished and slowly chipped away at the deficit making it a single digit game, 52-60, after a trey from Rakestraw with 4:58 to go.
After a series of traded buckets, the Rangers pushed it back to a 10 point game after a layup from Bell made it 66-56 with 2:10 remaining. But JBU responded and pulled within four, 63-67, after Andy Garcia sparked a 7-1 run capped off by a bucket from Ryland Allen with 1:08 to play.
With time against them, JBU was forced to foul the rest of the way, but the Rangers went a perfect 6-of-6 down the stretch to hold on for the upset.
Overall, JBU shot 41.1 percent (23-56) for the game, while NWOSU hit 42.9 percent (24-56). JBU loss the battle of the boards 41-37 and committed 17 turnovers while forcing only 11. A major blow to the Golden Eagles came at the foul line where they went 14-of-25 for 56 percent.
The Rangers now advance to the semifinals to face Oklahoma Baptist.
JBU, meanwhile, must now wait to see if they’ll receive an at-large bid to this year’s national tournament. The tournament qualifiers and bracket are scheduled to be released on Wednesday afternoon, March 9.