Lubbock, Texas (March 6, 2009) - John Brown men’s basketball team took No. 1 Rogers State (Okla.) down to the wire in Sooner Athletic Conference semifinal action. But after the final buzzer sounded the Golden Eagles came up a few points short as RSU came away with a two point 87-85 win.
“Our guys gave a great effort,” said head coach Clark Sheehy. “We let the lead get a little too big, but we hung tough and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
In the first half, JBU fell behind by 18 points but managed to pull within 14, 44-30, at the intermission.
In the second, the Golden Eagles had new life and continued to cut into the deficit and found themselves down by a point after Abel Galliguez fed Cody Page on the inside for the bucket with 1:51 left.
The Hillcats’ hot hand, Aldric Reynolds, responded on the other end with his fifth trey bomb of the night and pushed it back to an 84-78 RSU lead with 1:26 left in the ball game.
Next JBU possession, Galliguez would get to the foul line and convert both to bring JBU within two, 84-82, with under a minute left.
On the other end, RSU’s Sylvester Spicer drew the foul and knocked down two from the line to go back up by four with 31.0 seconds left.
After a JBU timeout, the Golden Eagles put the ball in the hand of Jarrett McGriff who attempted a three and drained it with a hand in his face, but the shot was called a two after McGriff stepped on the line.
JBU fouled and sent Reynolds to the line after the inbound, and he canned both to make it a two possession, 85-82, game with 15.97 seconds remaining.
On the other end, once again JBU got the ball into the hands of a senior, and Page buried a deep well-contested three to pull the Golden Eagles within one. After a quick foul, JBU sent RSU’s Matt Kellogg to the line. Kellogg missed the first and knocked down the second after a JBU timeout.
With time running out the Golden Eagles had one last look for the tie, but McGriff’s three point attempt fell short as time expired.
Page led JBU with 24 points, and McGriff added 19 and six boards, while Davaughn Jackson and Galliguez both finished with 12.
As a team, JBU finished 27-of-59 (46%) overall including 9-of-25 (36%) from long range. JBU also grabbed 38 rebounds while committing 18 turnovers.
RSU got 20 points from Spicer, 19 from Reynolds, and 18 points and 10 boards from Eric Young.
Overall, RSU (29-1) was identical from the field as JBU, but fared better from long distance knocking down 10-of-21 threes for 47 percent. RSU grabbed 35 rebounds while only committing 14 turnovers.
John Brown, now 23-10, will wait for the final poll to see if they make the national tournament. The poll is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 11 at 3 p.m.
“We’ve got a good resume and have won 11 of our last 14 on the road. We’d love to keep playing but it’s out of our hands right now,” said Sheehy.