Golden Eagles Roll to 6-0 in Conference Action, Blow by Mid-America, 76-58
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (January 19, 2013) - Sporting just a two-point lead at the half, the No. 10 Golden Eagles starting the second half on a 23-4 run to grab its sixth-straight victory, 76-58, this time over Mid-America Christian (Okla.) at Bill George Arena on Saturday night.
The Golden Eagles now boast a 6-0 record in Sooner Athletic Conference play and stand at 17-3 after 20 games this season, a program-best start in over eight seasons. Mid-America Christian, which entered the game 3-1 and all alone in second play in conference play, falls to 3-2 and 8-6 overall.
John Brown was led by the performance of sophomore Max Hopfgartner who turned in a career-high 22 points to go along with a 10-rebound effort, his fourth double-double of the season. The big man went 8-of-12 from the field, netting two triples and converting 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Joining Hopfgartner in double digits were a trio of Golden Eagles, led by senior guard Coleson Rakestraw and an impressive second-half performance that featured a 3-for-3 effort from three-point range. Senior guard Abel Galliguez handed in 13 points while freshman guard Kofi Josephs added 11.
The Golden Eagles ran out to a quick 10-6 advantage over the first five minutes, but the Evangels held tough, even notching a three-point lead (29-26) with just over three minutes to play in the half. The first 20 minutes featured three ties and seven lead changes. JBU could only manufacture a four-point lead, albeit four times, as MACU hung around for the entirety of the first stanza.
Facing a three-point disadvantage with the first half winding down, Rakestaw's triple pulled the game even before the tenth-ranked home squad finished the half emphatically in the form of a Hopfgartner slam dunk as time expired.
Ball handling errors helped keep MACU within striking distance as the Golden Eagles committed 10 turnovers in the half. Despite attempting five more shots than the visitors (31-26), John Brown only completed its attempts at a 38.7 percent clip while the Evangels turned in a 46.2 percent performance from the floor.
Hopfgartner's first-half exclamation point carried over into the second half as the Golden Eagles, although allowing the first bucket of the stanza, proceeded to score 23 of the next 25 points as JBU caught fire from long-range. Over the first 6:26 of the second half, John Brown converted six triples on seven chances, bolting out to a game-high 22-point lead. The Evangels would not get closer than 16 points as John Brown earned its ninth win in its last 11 tries.
MACU's leading scorer, Charlie Shorter, was limited to just 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field. Seven of Shorter's points came at the free throw line as the guard was averaging 21.9 points per game, landing him at No. 8 in the nation. Junior forward Angelo Lewis paced the Evangels with 15 points and four rebounds.
John Brown will now embark on its annual Texas road trip which includes the Golden Eagles' swan song in Lubbock as the Chaps will begin its transition to NCAA II next season. Lubbock Christian and JBU will tip off in an 8:00 p.m. contest on Thursday, Jan. 24.