Slow Starts Ends Streak, Golden Eagles Fall to No. 11 Texas Wesleyan

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (January 16, 2016) -- No. 11 Texas Wesleyan (13-4, 4-2 SAC) started the game on a 25-9 run and the John Brown men’s basketball team (9-9, 2-4 SAC) shot just 28.6 percent from behind the arc, allowing the Rams to capture an 83-73 win on Saturday (Jan. 16) afternoon inside Bill George Arena.

Similar to its most recent losses, the Golden Eagles struggled with rebounding and turnovers and tonight featured more of the same as JBU committed 14 turnovers and allowed the Rams to grab 17 offensive boards en route to a 43-35 rebounding advantage. TWU turned 17 offensive boards into 11 second-chance points.

Senior Griffin Brady poured in a team-best 22 points and completed the double-double with 11 boards. Brady hit three triples and finished 8-of-16 from the floor in the loss while junior Ricky Roberts sunk 17 points on a 9-of-10 effort from the line.

Overall, the Golden Eagles shot just 40.7 percent (24-of-59) and fell to 1-7 when shooting less than 45 percent. The Rams didn’t reach 45 percent either, in fact shot just 37.5 percent (27-of-72), but attempted 13 more shots than John Brown.

Neither team shot well from behind the arc as each team hit just six, with Wesleyan taking 17 attempts and JBU launching 21. Beyond Brady’s three, freshman Josh Bowling, junior Zach English and senior Luke Moyer added the other trio of makes from downtown.

The Rams shot an impressive 23-of-26 from the line, including 15-of-18 in the second half.

JBU threatened twice in the second half, and each time the Rams had an answer. Bowling’s triple made it a three-point game, 43-40, early in frame, but TWU’s Jerell Ellis answered with a bucket, then a steal, and fed Chris Gracela to quickly extend the lead back to seven, 47-40.

A three from Brady whittled the margin down to four points, 68-64, with 3:19 to play, but Sam Akano orchestrated Wesleyan’s response with an and-one. The Rams proceeded to hit 13-of-14 free throw attempts in the closing minutes to seal the 83-73 victory.

Ellis notched a game-high 20 points while Dion Rogers added 17. BJ Batts and Sam Akano came off the bench to provide 12 apiece as the Ram reserves out-scored JBU’s bench 34-23.

With the loss, the Golden Eagles fall to 3-5 when losing the battle on the boards and 1-7 in game decided by 10 points or less.

Now that the win streak was snapped at two, the Golden Eagles will look to jump-start a new one in Chickasha, Okla., when John Brown takes on Science & Arts (Okla.) on Thursday (Jan. 21). Tip in the Drover Fieldhouse is slated for 8 p.m.

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