Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 21, 2005) - (Kansas City, Mo.)—Junior guard Brandon Cole posted a game-high 21 points to lead unseeded John Brown University (Ark.) to a 73-60 victory over Carroll College (Mont.) in the 2005 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship semifinals Monday at Municipal Auditorium. Cole was 4-of-8 from three-point range to lead the Golden Eagles to their first trip to the NAIA national championship contest. John Brown has won nine of its last 10 games to improve to 23-11 overall. The Golden Eagles will face either No. 4 Robert Morris College (Ill.) or No. 9 Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) in Tuesday’s title game at 8 p.m. CST. “We want to stay focused on what we’re here to do,” said John Brown head coach John Sheely. “We came in unseeded, but we had played 18 games against NAIA tournament-type teams. That really prepared us for this.” Carroll led by as many as seven points in the first half before John Brown used a 15-2 run late in the period to built a 32-26 advantage. The lead changed hands four times before Cole hit a three-pointer with 10:35 remaining to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good, 47-45. John Brown pulled away in the second half by shooting 56 percent from the field while holding Carroll to just 32 percent in the period. Sophomore guard Adam Workman came off the bench to add 17 points and a game-high four steals for John Brown. Senior forward Reyjavick DeGracia posted 13 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Alex Terry contributed 11 points and five assists for the Golden Eagles. Carroll was making the first appearance in the NAIA national semifinals by any team in the Frontier Conference. Junior forward Travis Williams led a balanced scoring attack for the Saints with 14 points. He also had six rebounds. Junior forwards Jeff Hays and Sinan Guler each had 13 points, while senior center Andy Brown chipped in with 11 points. Hays and Williams each grabbed six rebounds for Carroll, which closed its season at 28-7.
*Release provided by NAIA.org