SHAWNEE, OK (March 3, 2005) - For the third straight year the Golden Eagles came up empty in an opening round SAC tournament game. The Golden Eagles lost Thursday night to Oklahoma Baptist 56-48. With the loss the Golden Eagles record drops to 19-11 on the season.
While the loss most likely will not affect the team’s National tournament hopes, it could affect their seeding. “We will probably get a lower seed now,” said coach John Sheehy after the game. The Golden Eagles finished the season as the #23 team in the Final NAIA rating.
The game was close from start to finish, with neither team leading by more then 6 until the final 21 seconds. The Golden Eagles defeated the Bison by double digits in the previous two meetings of the teams, but could not replicate the feat for a third time. The Golden Eagles were also the only team of the four higher seeds to lose an opening round game on Thursday.
Both teams shot poorly, OBU shooting 39% from the floor and 20% from long range, while the Golden Eagles shot just 28% for the game and shot 14% from downtown making just 4 three-point shots all game.
Robert Hart and Justin Benson led OBU with 17 points each. Benson shot 6 of 7 from the field.
The Golden Eagles were led by Senior Rayjavick DeGracia who left nothing behind playing in his final SAC game. DeGracia had three blocks to set the school record for blocked shots with 127, led the team in scoring with 15 points, and led all rebounders with 18 boards before fouling out with 14 seconds left. Alex Terry and Adam Workman also chipped in 10 points each for John Brown.
The Golden Eagles will await word on their National tournament status when the field is announced on Wednesday.