Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 3, 2006) - The 23rd-ranked John Brown Golden Eagles made a gallant effort in the final five minutes to cut into a double-digit Oklahoma Baptist lead, but the Lady Bison hit key free throws down the stretch to preserve a 74-69 victory in the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament Friday in Shawnee, Okla. Kendra McCormick led all scorers with 20 points and added 5 rebounds. Oklahoma Baptist’s Dilenny Castillo scored 18 points and pulled down 7 rebounds.
Oklahoma Baptist led 29-28 at halftime but extended that lead to double digits in the second half. Alicia Baer hit a 3-pointer and Lesli Fanning banked in another trey in the final two minutes as the Golden Eagles attempted a comeback. Part of their strategy necessarily included fouling, however, and Oklahoma Baptist made 24-of-27 from the charity stripe (88.9%) throughout the game.
Fanning finished the game with 11 points, and Baer ended with 8. Ashley Wettengel scored 13 points.
Keely Tolin scored 14 points for Oklahoma Baptist. Tabetha Eaton and Rachel Heins added 13 and 11, respectively.
John Brown (20-11) will now wait until next week to see whether or not it will receive an at-large bid for the 32-team NAIA National Tournament in Jackson, Tenn.