Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 30, 2004) - The No. 11 JBU men’s basketball team overcame a 20-point deficit and pulled out an 88-81 win over Southern Nazarene University on Thursday evening in Bethany, Oklahoma.
After falling behind 27-7 early in the game, the Golden Eagles closed the gap to 6 at 47-41 at the half and then came out strong in the second half to take their first lead 52-49 with 17:30 left in the game. Abdiel Mendieta, with 6 of 10 from beyond the three-point arc, led the JBU attack with a season high 30 points and moved into 10th on the all-time JBU scoring list with 1194 career points.
Brandon Cole also hit 6 three pointers on his way to 22 points, 14 coming in the second half as the Golden Eagles closed the gap and took the lead. Cole was also a factor in several other areas of the game, pulling down 7 rebounds, 6 of which were on the defensive end of the floor, dishing out 4 assists and adding 2 steals. Brandon Brown and Mendieta were also strong factors in the rebound department as they both grabbed 6 rebounds. Off the bench, Scott Reasoner and Pat Smits added a much needed lift on the offensive and defensive ends respectively.
“This game was a challenge all the way. Southern Nazarene came out and shot lights-out to begin the game and we didn’t seem to be able to stabilize the game. We called several time-outs in the early stages to slow them down, but nothing seemed to be working,” commented JBU coach John Sheehy. “I give credit to our team for not giving in when it looked dismal in the first half. With our 3 post players collecting 7 fouls between them in the first three minutes, we had our backs to the wall,” continued Sheehy. “This was as good a victory as I can remember; to turn the game around from a 20 point deficit to a 7 point win is a testimony to the character of our team. By winning the first game of a three-game road series, we set the tone for the upcoming games at Oklahoma Christian and Oklahoma City.”
With the Sooner Athletic Conference victory, JBU is now 6-2 in the SAC and 18-3 overall. The Golden Eagles stay on the road Saturday at Oklahoma Christian University in an 8:00 pm contest.