Double-Digit Lead Disappears in Second Half, Wayland Avoids JBU Upset Bid
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (December 3, 2015) -- Leading by as many as 11 early in the second half, the John Brown men’s basketball team (5-5, 0-1 SAC) once again couldn’t hang on as No. 12 Wayland Baptist (Texas) broke a 74-all tie to earn a 78-76 win against JBU on Thursday (Dec. 3) night inside Bill George Arena.
Junior Ricky Roberts stuck an acrobatic lay-in with 67 seconds remaining, forcing the second half’s fourth lead change, giving the Golden Eagles a narrow 74-73 advantage. WBU then missed consecutive field goal attempts on the ensuing possession, but Baptist’s Jordon Johnson recorded back-to-back steals, limiting JBU’s ability to further the lead. After Johnson’s first steal, he drew a foul, but missed a pair at the line. Clinging to luck, Johnson was again fouled a second time, but this time sank both at the line, returning the lead back to the visitors, 75-74.
Senior Luke Moyer missed a mid-range jumper on the next trip down the court, forcing junior Nate Anderson to foul the Pioneers’ leading scorer, Robert Waters. Waters hit both at the line with three seconds left for a three-point lead, 77-74, and then immediately fouled Moyer on the inbounds, keeping John Brown to just a two-point possession. Moyer sank both to claw JBU within one, but John Brown had to return the foul with 2.8 seconds left in hopes of a final chance at a tie or a win.
Jordan Tolbert missed the front end but sank the second chance for WBU. On the inbounds down the court, the Pioneers touched the ball on the sidelines, knocking just .2 seconds off the clock. JBU had one final chance to tie or win the game with 2.6 ticks remaining.
Unfortunately, senior Griffin Brady’s attempt from behind the arc as time expired was altered, sending the Golden Eagles to its fourth-consecutive setback.
Waters scored 17 of his team-leading 24 points in the second half for Baptist and helped turn a 49-38 deficit into a 54-54 tie after WBU’s 16-5 run midway through the second half. Later in the half he would hit consecutive triples and score eight straight points for the visitors, helping mount a 69-63 lead. Moyer hit a field goal and a pair from the line, leading JBU on a 6-0 rally to tie the score at 69 apiece. Freshman Jake Caudle scored down low off a pretty feed from Moyer, handing JBU a momentary 71-69 lead.
The Golden Eagles trailed for just 75 seconds in the first half and even enjoyed a 10-point lead, 23-13, after Moyer hit a triple followed by field goals from Griffin and Moyer to break open a 14-13 score.
Moyer led all players with 29 points, a career-high, on 11-of-21 shooting from the field including four treys. Roberts notched 12 points and seven boards while Brady added 10 points and seven caroms in the loss. Freshman Brandon Joseph contributed a career-best 12 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor, highlighted by a pair of triples and a 2-of-2 mark from the line.
The Golden Eagles failed to secure the win mainly at the charity stripe, posting a mere 8-of-23 mark (53.3 percent). The Pioneers also out-rebounded JBU, 46-41, and controlled the paint by a 48-32 margin. Still, 20 Baptist turnovers gave the hosts a chance in the narrow contest.
WBU featured four in double figures, led by Waters and Johnson. Waters scored a team-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Johnson finished with 13 points and was a rebound short of a double-double. Maurice Redmond also scored 11 points and snagged six rebounds in the win.
With the loss, JBU falls to 17-8 (.680) all-time against Wayland in Siloam Springs.JBU will return to action on Saturday (Dec. 5) when it welcomes No. 24 Southwestern A.G. (Texas) to Bill George Arena for a 3 p.m. tip.