Anderson Propels Men's Basketball to SAC Quarterfinals
WAXAHACHIE, Texas (March 2, 2016) -- Just when the Golden Eagles needed him, junior Nate Anderson responded with a season-high 16 points, hitting 8-of-13 from the field, allowing the eighth-seeded John Brown men's basketball team (13-18) to overcome 16 turnovers to take an 81-62 win over ninth-seeded St. Gregory's (Okla.) in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament opening round on Wednesday (March 2) afternoon inside the Shaffer Center.
Anderson not only led the team in scoring, but also posted a game-high five blocks, marking the ninth time this season he has notched three rejections or more in a game. In fact its was Anderson's layup with 2:07 left off a nifty back-door, fast-break dish from junior Ricky Roberts to give the designated home team a 68-59 lead with 2:07 remaining in the game.
John Brown put the game away at the line, converting 11 of its final 14, including the final eight, highlighted by four consecutive from sophomore Matthew Ledford. Ledford hit a pair as a result of an SGU technical foul, then hit the double-bonus shots to ice the game.
The Cavaliers (10-17) trimmed the JBU lead to 55-53 with 6:14 remaining in the contest, but the Golden Eagles responded with six straight, including a Luke Moyer long-range triple, before closing the game on a 20-6 run as the Cavs continued fouling, hoping for a let up at the line.
Richard Shields finished with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting for the Cavs and added a game-best seven assists. The Golden Eagle defense held SGU to a 36.4 percent mark from the field as no other Cavalier finished in double figures.
Handcuffed by 16 turnovers, JBU claimed the large margin of victory by out-rebounding St. Gregory's by a 50-29 mark, led by senior Griffin Brady's eight boards. Anderson added seven while junior Zach English, freshman Josh Bowling and Roberts each contributed six caroms and freshman Marquis Waller grabbed five while adding seven points. Waller's output helped JBU's bench add 24 points while the Cavalier bench contributed only 14 in the loss.
Moyer scored 15 off three triples and Roberts hit 10-of-12 at the line to finish with 10 points.
After a meager 36.8 percent clip in the first half, John Brown hit 11-of-24 in the second half to finish the game 25-of-62 (40.3 percent), but more importantly, the SAC's best free-throw shooting team hit 25-of-32 chances from the line, including 22-of-28 in the second half.
Fresh off head coach Jason Beschta's first postseason win at the helm of the program, John Brown moves on to the quarterfinals, where it will face top-seeded No. 8 Texas Wesleyan (23-6) at 6:15 p.m.