Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 10, 2004) - After building an eleven-point lead with 6:30 left in the game, the Golden Eagles hung on for an 80-78 victory. JBU was held scoreless for a five-minute period before senior Abdiel Mendieta recorded a free throw with 1:43 remaining. During that time frame Wayland Baptist scored eight points to cut their deficit down to four at 75-71. Mendieta scored a two-point bucket with 1:08 remaining and sophomores Alex Terry and Brandon Cole chipped in three free throws to end JBU’s scoring.
The Golden Eagles took a 39-33 lead into the locker room after taking the lead 25-24 with 7 minutes left to play in the first half. From that point JBU never trailed in the game.
Cole was able to muster only 5 points in the first half, but came back to toss in 23 second half points to lead the Golden Eagles offensively. In addition to Cole’s scoring, freshmen Brandon Brown contributed 13 points and Mendieta was close behind with 12.
“Although we knew they shot well from beyond the 3-point arc, we wanted our defensive effort to put pressure on the inside first and then the outside,” commented Coach John Sheehy after the win. “We needed more urgency in our play to begin the game. Our focus was to come out stronger than we had in the first two SAC games. We were able to keep the pressure on Wayland throughout the game. Our offense was able to provide some openings for Cole that we had not been able to do in our first two conference games,” continued Sheehy. “I am happy with the win today. We’ve played well enough in the past two games to win. We need more consistency on both ends of the court and we need to maintain the sense of urgency that we played with today.”
With the win, the Golden Eagles advance to 1-2 in Sooner Athletic Conference action and 13-3 for the season. JBU will return to Murray Sells Athletic Center Thursday, January 15th to host Oklahoma City in an 8:00 pm game.