CHICKASHA, Okla. (January 8, 2013) - Four Golden Eagles finished the contest in double digits and shot 46.8 percent from the field as a team as John Brown picked up its first Sooner Athletic Conference win of the season, capturing a 69-60 victory of Science and Arts (Okla.) Tuesday evening in Chickasha.
John Brown moves to 6-8 overall on the season, evening its conference record at 1-1. The Drovers fall to 9-6 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
"I thought we had very good balance tonight," said head coach Jeff Soderquist. "It was good to finish well in a close game."
Junior guard Sierra Shipley led four Golden Eagles in double digit scoring with 17 points while adding four rebounds, shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range. Junior forward Kortni Barenberg finished with 12 points and tied a team-high five rebounds. Senior guard Anna Parish dropped 11 points and five assists while freshman forward Brooke Barker contributed 10 points, converting 5-of-6 opportunities from the free throw line.
Both teams battled back and forth to open the game. Down 10-9, Shipley nailed a triple, giving JBU the early three-point advantage. Another Shipley trey gave the visitors a 21-17 lead, but USAO would whittle away at the deficit, pulling even at 22. Five straight points off a triple and a layup, courtesy of Barenberg, handed John Brown a six-point lead (28-22) with 3:21 left to play in the half.
Shipley would cap off her impressive first half, nailing back-to-back threes while adding a jumper as the visitors took a commanding 39-31 lead into halftime. The Golden Eagles made an impressive 7-of-12 shots from behind the arc while limiting the Drovers to a 42.9 percent shooting half from the field.
The host squad came out firing in the second half, nabbing 10 of the first 14 points over the first 3:33 to knot the score at 43. The Drovers captured its first lead of the game since the 6:28 mark of the first half after a triple placed JBU into a 48-47 deficit. Facing a five-point deficit with 11:21 remaining, a pair of Lauren Rogers free throws and a three-pointer by Parish evened the teams at 56.
Down the stretch, Parish would net five points and Barker's layup with 2:23 remaining proved to be the difference as she added three more conversions from the charity stripe, completing the 69-60 victory.
The Golden Eagles narrowly outrebounded the Drovers (36-35) and only committed nine fouls in the game while USAO finished with 17. The Drovers were only allowed eight free throw opportunities.
JBU finished 8-of-17 from behind the arc (47.1 percent) and limited Science and Arts to 6-of-24 from three-point range (25.0 percent).
"This team has a chance to be a great three-point shooting team," Soderquist admitted. "What made tonight special was that it wasn't just one player."
John Brown will now turn its attention to St. Gregory's in a 6:00 p.m. matchup in Shawnee, Okla. on Thursday, Jan. 10.