Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 28, 2006) - Solid free-throw shooting and 11 three-pointers enabled the John Brown Golden Eagles to clinch a 65-60 victory Saturday in Siloam Springs. Lesli Fanning scored 21 points on 7-of-13 three-point shooting. Kendra McCormick scored 12 points, and Ashley Wettengel added 11 for John Brown.
John Brown (14-7, 6-3 SAC) opened the game with three consecutive three-point baskets and led 16-3 with 14:36 remaining in the first half. Northwestern Oklahoma State (5-14, 2-7 SAC) cut that lead down to 16-11 at 12:02 on a three-pointer by Tara Baker, but the Golden Eagles rallied, and Kendra McCormick stretched the lead to 39-20 with a bucket at 2:44. John Brown led 44-29 at halftime.
The Rangers began the second half with an incredible display of shooting. Brittany McBride hit back-to-back three-pointers, and Toni Scales and D’Shanna Butler added one apiece as part of a 16-0 run capped by two Erin Goss free throws that put Northwestern Oklahoma State ahead 45-44 with 16:31 left. Fanning hit a three-pointer at 14:22 to put the Golden Eagles back on top 47-45, but field goals by Goss brought about two more lead changes. A pair of free throws by McCormick—the first of eight for John Brown in the final 4:50—gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good, though the Rangers continued to threaten. Jordyn West, who started for the injured Nancy Pierre, sank three free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory.
The Golden Eagles shot 76.9% (20-for-26) from the charity stripe, a statistic that clearly made the difference down the stretch. Wettengel earned eight of her 11 points at the line. John Brown as a team, meanwhile, scored 33 of its 65 points from behind the three-point arc. Wettengel, Sarah Edwards, Brooke Warder, and Jordan Gipson all hit one trey in addition to Fanning’s seven.