Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 4, 2004) - Oklahoma Baptist opened up a 10-0 lead to start the game and had a 42-34 lead early in the second half only to see John Brown University fight back and capture a 74-73 victory on a last second shot by Reyjavick De Gracia. De Gracia grabbed a rebound on Abdiel Mendieta’s missed 8 foot jumper and put the game winning shot in with 1.5 seconds remaining in the game.
John Brown took its first lead in the second half when Brandon Cole hit a three pointer with 13:22 remaining in the game. From that point the game saw several ties and lead changes until the 8:42 point when the Golden Eagles jumped on top 58-57 on Abdiel Mendieta’s trey. JBU kept the lead until OBU’s Robert Hart hit a short jumper with 15 seconds to play giving the Bison a 73-72 lead before the last second heroics by De Gracia.
De Gracia led all scorers with 23 points and also had 5 rebounds. Ryan Woodson was the leading rebounder for JBU with 10 boards. Mendieta chipped in 20 points to contribute to the winning effort. Leoanard Mosely scored 22 points for OBU to lead the Bison in scoring.
“Two keys to the win tonight were that we stopped the fast break points by OBU and we outscored them on 2nd chance points 14-7,” commented JBU coach John Sheehy following the win. “We out rebounded them tonight and they had doubled our rebound effort in the first game in January. Although we did not shoot a high percentage, we took 64 shots compared to their 47 and this was also a big difference in the outcome. With this win, we now should be back on the fringe for an at-large berth to the national tournament. Without the win, we knew we would not have a chance of going to Kansas City without winning the conference tournament.”
With the win JBU goes to 22-9 for the season and 10-8 for the Sooner Athletic Conference. Next action will be in the SAC tournament. Pairings for the tournament will be set tomorrow. JBU will definitely play on Friday and the tournament is being conducted at Oklahoma City University.