Parish's Double-Double, Late Free Throws Hand JBU 54-49 Win
OKLAHOMA CITY (February 21, 2013) - Senior guard Anna Parish netted a team-high 16 points and the Golden Eagles (11-16, 6-9 SAC) used a game-opening 11-0 run to grab a 54-49 win at Mid-America Christian (13-13, 4-11 SAC) on Thursday night at the Gaulke Activity Center.
Parish, who earned her first-career double-double, landed 10 of her 16 points from a perfect shooting night at the free throw line as her two baskets from the field were from three-point range. Junior guard Sierra Shipley added 11 points and four assists, tying Parish for a team-high. Sophomore guard Lauren Rogers nabbed nine points in the win while sophomore forward Morgan Ankrom grabbed seven rebounds.
"It's a good thing we're a good free throw shooting team," said head coach Jeff Soderquist, as his squad shot 28.3 percent from the field. "We've got to get better inside play, we need shots to fall. Lauren started us off tonight and we finished off with great free throw shooting. We've been ranked second or third in the nation all season long and, at this time of year, those opportunities are even bigger."
After neither team could find the scoreboard through the first 2:50 of the game, the Golden Eagles caught fire, knocking down three consecutive triples. Rogers' back-to-back effort gave John Brown the 6-0 lead before it grew to nine as Kami Garrison knocked down a trey of her own. Garrison followed up her deep ball with a bucket down low, handing JBU command of the game and an 11-0 advantage.
The Lady Evangels responded, however, piecing together an 11-2 run of its own over the next 4:53, closing to within two of John Brown, 13-11. After another long scoring lull of over 90 seconds without any points from either team, the Golden Eagles' lead returned to four after Garrison's field goal at the 8:24 mark. A traditional three-point play drew MACU within one before Parrish landed her first triple of the game, returning the host squad's deficit to four, 18-14.
John Brown would go on to capture seven of the next 13 points leading to the intermission, capped off by Abbie Warren's triple with 36 second remaining to close out the half.
The second half saw Mid-America Christian net the first five points of the stanza, deadlocking the game at 25 apiece. Parrish would step up again, nailing her second, and final, triple of the contest to break the tie. MACU would even the score on its next possession, but a pair of Parrish free throws pushed the Golden Eagles back on top, 30-28.
The Lady Evangels would steal its first lead of the game after four consecutive points at the 14:38 mark of the second half. Shipley's bucket down low marked the third tie of the game until another MACU triple returned the lead to the hosts.
Another scoring hiatus ensued until a pair of Shipley shots from the charity stripe at the 10:07 mark broke the 3:05 scoreless streak, forcing the game's fourth tie. Mid-America Christian secured four of the game's next five points, holding on to a slim three-point lead, 39-36. Rogers' deep ball on the ensuing possession tied the score just before the Lady Evangels grabbed a pair of four-point leads over the next 5:48 of the second stanza.
The Golden Eagles held tough, receiving a basket from Kortni Barenberg and a pair of charity strip shots from Parrish to claw back to a 46-46 score, at which point John Brown wouldn't trail for the rest of the contest.
As the fouls began to pile up, JBU would make Mid-America Christian pay for its play down the stretch. MACU was charged with 15 infraction in the second half alone, allowing the Golden Eagles six chances at the free throw line over the final 2:28. Parish, Shipley and Barenberg each calmly knocked down their respective chances at the free throw line, securing the 54-49 victory, despite John Brown not scoring a field goal over the final 3:07 of the game.
"When you struggle shooting," Soderquist added, "you need to find ways to score. Getting to the line is the best way for us. A lot of those chances were a result of Anna's hard play securing loose balls and hustling all over the floor."
John Brown could only manage a 28.3 percent shooting night from the field, but the long ball was falling as JBU notched a 42.1 percent (8-of-19) shooting clip from three-point range. As one of the top free throw shooting squads in the nation, the Golden Eagles lived up to its billing, converting 19-of-20 from the charity stripe. MACU didn't fare as well in any shooting category, managing an anemic 25.0 percent (14-of-56) from the floor and 5-of-25 from beyond the arc. The Lady Evangels missed six free throw opportunities, finishing 16-of-22 from the line.
No Mid-America Christian player picked up more than eight rebounds as John Brown won the battle of the boards, 44-37. Despite committing 24 turnovers in the game, the JBU defense held MACU to just six points as a result of John Brown miscues.
Kourtni Williams had a game-high 26 points for the Lady Evangels in the losing effort, while nabbing a team-high eight caroms.
With the victory, the Golden Eagles have an opportunity to finish in a tie for fourth place in the SAC regular season standings. John Brown will need a win on Saturday, however, when they welcome Oklahoma Baptist to Bill George Arena on Feb. 23 for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will mark the final regular season contest for the lone JBU senior, Anna Parish.