Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 17, 2006) - The John Brown Golden Eagles’ bid to upset the defending national champions in their hometown of Jackson, Tenn., came up short Thursday as Union defeated John Brown 76-57 in the first round of the NAIA Division I Women’s National Championship. The deck was stacked against the 7th-seeded Golden Eagles (20-12) as they had to face the 2nd-seeded Bulldogs in Oman Arena, just across town from the Union campus.
Odds notwithstanding, the Golden Eagles got off to a good start, leading 11-4 six minutes into the game. Union (27-6) took its first lead 19-18 on a basket by DJ Sissoko with 7:20 left in the half, and then plowed forward on a 23-5 run to end the half leading 38-20. John Brown cut the deficit to 13 and then to 9 in the second half but could not close the gap further.
Kendra McCormick led the Golden Eagles with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Lesli Fanning scored 13 points, and Ashley Wettengel added 9. Alicia Baer scored 7 points and dished out 7 assists.
Ena Daniels led the Bulldogs with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Merideth Richardson contributed 13 points, and Josephine Owino added 10.
The careers of five John Brown seniors ended with the game. McCormick closed out her outstanding career as John Brown’s all-time leading scorer with 1,793 points. Fanning became the school’s all-time leading perimeter shooter with 272 made 3-point baskets. Her 86 treys this season surpassed the previous school record of 70, which she set last season. Baer’s 296 career assists placed her fifth in the JBU record books. Brooke Warder and Natalie Reid also played their final game in Golden Eagles uniforms.