Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 3, 2004) - Paced by sophomore Lesli Fanning’s 20 points, the Golden Eagles defeated No. 8 Oklahoma Baptist University 63-57 in the opening game of Sooner Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The victory was the first time JBU had won at Shawnee and only the third time for the Golden Eagles to defeat the Bison in 30 games. Fanning’s 20 points came on 6 of 8 three-pointers and a lay-up as she paced the Golden Eagles to the win. JBU had a 29-26 halftime lead after being ahead by 11 points on two different occasions in the first period. Opening the second half with another run, the Golden Eagles moved out to a 12 point lead only to have the home team fight back to close the gap to 4 points before the final margin of victory at 6 points.
Freshman Ashley Wettengel, with 12 points and 5 rebounds, and sophomore Kendra McCormick, with 11 points and 3 rebounds, made significant contributions to the winning effort. Freshman Jordyn West was also a major factor in the win with 5 key rebounds at times when the Bison were making a run at the JBU lead.
“This was a total team effort,” commented Coach Jeff Soderquist after the win. “Our team had the confidence and mindset today for winning and it really paid off with the way we played. I thought we took charge of the game early and frustrated them with our defensive effort. Those two things were keys to our success today. It is really good to begin with a victory, especially on the road against a top 10 team.”
With the win, the Golden Eagles up their season record to 12-2 and are 1-0 in SAC play. JBU returns home next Thursday for a 6:00 pm Sooner Athletic Conference game with Lubbock Christian University and then will entertain SAC opponent Wayland Baptist University on Saturday afternoon in a 1:00 pm contest.