Oklahoma Wesleyan, Sluggish First Half Hands John Brown First Loss
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (December 1, 2012) — Shooting just 32.3 percent from the field in the first half left the Golden Eagles in a 12-point deficit at halftime and Oklahoma Wesleyan (8-2) hung on to defeat John Brown for the first time this season, 73-71, tonight at Bill George Arena.
Four Golden Eagles finished the contest in double-figure scoring as freshman guard Kent High landed a career-high 17 points, powered by 5-of-6 shooting from three point range. Sophomore forward Max Hopfgartner chipped in with 13 points as did freshman forward D'Shon Taylor.
John Brown began the game having difficulties draining shots and found itself in a 16-point hole with 7:19 remaining in the first half.
A pair of Kofi Josephs free throws and a triple by Abel Galliguez trimmed the OKWU lead to 11, but the lead would balloon back to 12 by halftime, courtesy of 6-of-12 three-point shooting by the visitors in the first half.
Down by 13 at the 14:52 mark of the second half (50-37), the Golden Eagles began an astounding 23-10 run over the next 7:07 that was capped off by a Coleson Rakestraw triple, tying the score at 60.
The host squad shot an incredible 60 percent in the second half (18-of-30) while draining six three-pointers en route to the double-digit deficit resurgence.
John Brown would take its first lead since 10-9 when Rakestraw finished a field goal that placed JBU on top, 62-61. Again, another Oklahoma Wesleyan triple quickly dropped the Golden Eagles in a two-point hole.
Taylor converted one of two free throws to accompany a thunderous dunk that brought Bill George Arena to its feet, giving John Brown a three-point advantage, 67-64, with 4:34 remaining. An Eagle trey knotted the score again as both teams traded points down the stretch.
With 30 ticks left in regulation, Hopfgartner battled inside for a well-earned basket and then stuffed an OKWU shot, drawing a foul after collecting the loose ball.
After missing the front end of a one-and-one, the Eagles nabbed the rebound and called its final timeout. In the ensuing possession, a high pick left Tyler Woods wide open at the left corner of the three-point line and the guard knocked down his second triple of the game with three seconds left.
The deep John Brown bench outscored its counterparts 37-25, while narrowly edging out the Eagles on the boards, 38-37.
JBU committed 17 turnovers in the game, two more than the visitors, and Oklahoma Wesleyan converted the John Brown miscues into 15 points.
John Brown narrowly missed seizing a perfect record heading into the first national ranking period, set to be released by the NAIA on Dec. 4.
With the loss, the Golden Eagles fall to 8-1 on the season. The squad returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 4, when it hosts Bible Baptist (Mo.) in an 8:00 p.m. tip-off at Bill George Arena.