Golden Eagles Fall in Season Finale to Oklahoma Baptist, 73-48
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (February 23, 2013) - In front of nearly a sold-out crowd on senior night and the Golden Eagles' regular season finale, the No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist Bison (24-6, 12-4 SAC) stole the show, handing No. 3 John Brown (25-5, 14-2 SAC) its worst loss of the season, 73-48, on Saturday night at Bill George Arena.
The game was featured as the NAIA National Game of the Week. The Bison exacted revenge after JBU stole a 75-70 victory in Shawnee, Okla., on Jan. 17, breaking OBU's 33-game home winning streak. That game was also the National Game of the Week.
Senior guard Coleson Rakestraw paced the John Brown offense, scoring 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field while collecting four points at the free throw line. Senior guard E.J. McWoods was able to notch nine points before he fouled out, and freshman forward D'Shon Taylor chipped in with seven points in the losing effort.
The Golden Eagles struggled to get its offense going tonight, shooting just 30.2 percent (13-of-43) from the field while committing 18 turnovers. JBU, entering the game ranked first in the nation in shooting percentage from the three point line, only managed eight triples on 28 attempts, finishing well below its 39.5 percent season average at 28.6 percent.
Oklahoma Baptist featured three players in double-digit scoring, led by David Johnson's 24 points and three assists. Clinton Houston contributed 15 points in the winning effort for the Bison while Kameron Price netted 11. OBU shot an impressive 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field tonight in addition to converting 21-of-24 free throw attempts.
OBU bested John Brown in a category almost always controlled by the Blue and Gold, as the visitors outrebounded the Golden Eagles, 35-17, including 12 offensive rebounds that Oklahoma Baptist converted into 14 second-chance points. The Bison also controlled the paint, outscoring JBU there, 38-8. Although John Brown managed eight assists on 13 field goals, the host squad committed an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers in its most lopsided defeat of the season.
The visitors managed a 12-point lead in the first stanza before the Golden Eagles began to chip away at the deficit in the second half. After a triple from Kofi Josephs and a pair of free throws from Max Hopfgartner brought the score to within four, 34-30, Oklahoma Baptist responded with a triple that started an 11-1 run over the next 2:58, returning the deficit to 14.
The game never came within single digits points again.
Before the game, the Golden Eagles honored its three graduating seniors: Coleson Rakestraw, Abel Galliguez and E.J. McWoods. Entering the game tonight, the trio had helped John Brown to 120 victories over the last five seasons, including the program's first-ever regular season championship (2013) and tournament title (2010). Additionally, the 2012-13 squad earned a program-record 25 regular season victories.
Despite the loss, John Brown finishes its Sooner Athletic Conference regular season slate of games as conference champions, earning the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament, hosted by Oklahoma Baptist.
The Golden Eagles will await the winner of the play-in game between St. Gregory's (6-20, 0-16 SAC) and Wayland Baptist (14-15, 5-11 SAC). JBU swept the season series with the Cavaliers but the Pioneers were the only squad, other than Oklahoma Baptist, to defeat John Brown in conference play.
The game is slated for Thursday, Feb. 28 with the game's time still to be determined. Please check here for the latest SAC tournament information, set to run from Feb. 28 through March 1.