Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 2, 2006) - The John Brown Golden Eagles used consistent defense and 81% free-throw shooting to overcome an 11-point first-half deficit Thursday night in Siloam Springs and beat Southern Nazarene 60-51. Kendra McCormick scored 28 points for the Golden Eagles, shooting 10-of-16 from the field and 8-of-12 from the free-throw line. Ashley Wettengel added 11 points, seven of which were from the charity stripe.
John Brown’s defense smothered Southern Nazarene’s inside game for the first ten minutes, so the Crimson Storm switched their offensive focus to the 3-point line, where they hit 6-of-11 attempts in the first half. Southern Nazarene (7-14, 3-8 SAC) led 24-13 with 3:31 remaining before halftime when John Brown (15-7, 7-3 SAC) went on a 6-0 run including 4 points from Wettengel and a pair of free throws by Jordan Gipson. The Crimson Storm led 29-21 at halftime.
The Golden Eagles continued to miss shots from the field in the second half but relied on free throws to remain within reach. Southern Nazarene still led 41-31 with 11:20 left in the game when Lesli Fanning hit her only 3-point basket of the night at 11:08 to pull the Golden Eagles within seven. Then Fanning and Wettengel found McCormick open underneath the basket on two consecutive possessions, and the senior forward scored both times to make it 41-38.
A 3-pointer by John Brown’s Jordyn West tied the game 43-43 with 9:08 remaining, but Nikki Floyd hit a free throw for Southern Nazarene to put the Crimson Storm back up by one. A pair of free throws by McCormick gave John Brown its first lead since 16:32 in the first half, and the Golden Eagles never looked back. They finished the game on a 15-7 run, scoring seven of those points from the free-throw line.
The Golden Eagles hit 21-of-26 free-throw attempts while making just 18-of-49 (36.7%) from the field. Southern Nazarene shot 40% from the field (18-of-45) and just 5-of-7 (71.4%) from the free-throw line. The Crimson Storm hit 10-of-20 3-point shots. Jamie Morgan led Southern Nazarene with 17 points, and Kinzie Glover and Lauran Hart each finished with 11.
The Golden Eagles have now won four straight, and five of their last seven.
John Brown travels to Edmond, Okla., Saturday to face 10th-ranked Oklahoma Christian at 6:00.