Kansas City, Mo. (March 19, 2010) - The 2009-2010 JBU men’s basketball set a new JBU record for most wins in a single season on Friday morning after defeating Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 88-82 during second round action of the Buffalo Funds NAIA National Tournament. Now 26-9 overall, the men move on to quarterfinal action on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the winner of top seeded Mountain State (W. Va.) vs. unseeded Southern Polytechnic State (Ga.).
Junior Andrius Mikutis provided a spark of the bench to lead JBU with 19 points and eight rebounds after going a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown. Sophomore Adrian Miller added 16 and nine rebounds, while juniors Sam Bartlett and Ryland Allen both had 13.
“I told the guys before the game that if we wanted to have a chance to win we needed contribution from everyone,” said head coach Clark Sheehy. “That’s what got us here, playing great team basketball.”
After rough start to the first half, JBU fell behind by eight with 4:09 left before closing the half out on an 8-0 run to make it 32-32.
JBU committed 12 turnovers in the period, while hitting 42.9% (12-28) from the floor including a dismal 22.2% (2-9) from long distance.
“When we got down by eight I told the guys on the bench that we needed to try to cut it to four before the break. Fortunately, we were able to tie it up,” said Sheehy. “Fresno played such a great zone in the first half. So at halftime, we had to try to make adjustments to attack it.”
In the second period, JBU fell behind by four, but were able to use an 8-0 run to take a four point lead (40-36) with 17:57 left. FPU wouldn’t be stymied and were able to tie it up at 42 on a three pointer from senior Alex Davenport at the 15:21 mark. FPU increased their lead to six (54-48) after senior RouSean Cromwell scored in the paint, but JBU responded and cut it back to one (54-51) after a trey from Mikutis and long two from Bartlett.
After five ties, JBU managed to take their first lead of the half since the 16 minute mark after Bartlett drained two free-throws to make it 71-70 with 3:50 left. JBU never looked behind from this point as momentum continued in their favor, and they managed to pull away to lead by as many as nine before taking home the six point win.
Senior Todd Brown lead FPU with a game-high 21 points followed by Davenport with 20. The Sunbirds close out the year at 25-9.
For the game, the Golden Eagles shot 47.5% from the floor including 45.8% from three point land. FPU finished the game going 37.5% overall including 36.1% from three. JBU won the rebounding battle 52-33, but committed 21 turnovers to 13 from FPU.