Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 24, 2004) - No. 11 John Brown University never trailed in the game and led Northwestern Oklahoma State 20 points with 7:46 to go in the game before holding on to defeat the Rangers 68-58 in Sooner Athletic Conference play in Siloam Springs on Saturday afternoon. In what was anticipated to be a close game, the Rangers closed the gap to 65-58 within the last minute of the contest before Abdiel Mendieta hit a three to put the game out of reach.
Led by Mendieta’s 10 points, John Brown University built a 10-point lead in the first half before allowing the Rangers to close the gap to 4 at 31-27 at the intermission. Four straight three-pointers by JBU, two by Brandon Brown and one each by Brandon Cole and Pat Smits ended the first half scoring for the Golden Eagles.
With Mendieta’s game and season high 21 points, he has moved into twelfth on the all-time JBU scoring list with 1,164 points. Reyjavick De Gracia brought down 9 rebounds for the victors while Scott Reasoner collected 7. Alex Terry had 10 assists on the afternoon, 7 coming in the first half of play. Devon Jefferson carried the Rangers with 19 points.
“Our defensive effort in holding them to 32% from the field was the key for our win today,” stated Coach John Sheehy about the victory. “We need to develop more of a killer instinct, keeping the pressure on when we have a team down 20 points. Woodson and De Gracia had solid games on the inside for us this afternoon. Ryan (Woodson) brings us a high quality low post defense. I credit their defense for keeping the game close.”
The 17-3 Golden Eagles go on the road next Thursday to play Southern Nazarene at 8 pm. The win today moves JBU to 5-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.