JBU Faces Houston Baptist University in NAIA Tournament

Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 23, 2004) - John Brown University will square off for the third time ever in NAIA Tournament play on Wednesday evening when they face the Huskies of Houston Baptist University in the opening round at 8:45 pm in Kansas City. Last year, the Golden Eagles won the opening round game against Azusa Pacific University before losing to Olivet Nazarene University in the second round. Wednesday night’s winner will face the winner of the St. Xavier (IL) vs. Concordia (CA) game at 4:30 pm on Friday.


Houston Baptist (27-5) is ranked No. 12 in the final NAIA poll and was the Red River Conference champion and the conference tournament champion. Red River Conference Player of the Year Ricky Bennett leads the Huskies. Bennett also was a first team choice in the Red River Conference. He leads HBU in scoring with an average of 18.7 points per game, in assists with an average of 6.5 per game, and in steals with 2.5 per game. Bennett is also the Huskies second leading rebounder with 6.8 per game.


The Golden Eagles will be led by SAC first team selection Brandon Cole who has averaged 14.5 points per game, SAC third team selection Abdiel Mendieta with a season average of 14.0 points per game, Reyjavick De Gracia who scores at the rate of 10.5 points per game and rebounds an average of 7.2 boards per game, SAC Defensive Player of the Year Alex Terry who has 26 steals, 146 assists and 22 blocked shots to his credit this season, and Ryan Woodson who led the team in rebounds in 10 games this year and brings down an average of 6.3 caroms per game.


JBU and HBU faced 3 common opponents during the season in Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University and Bacone College. Oklahoma Baptist was the only one of those teams to defeat Houston Baptist while JBU split with both OBU and Oklahoma City and defeated Bacone in both games.


The game will be broadcast live on American Family Values KUOA 1290.

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