SAGU keeps Golden Eagles from jumping in standings with narrow defeat

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Avoiding the season sweep, No. 21 Southwestern A.G. (Texas) handed the John Brown University men's basketball team a difficult 79-75 setback on Thursday (Feb. 2) night inside Bill George Arena.

The loss sent the Golden Eagles (13-9, 5-6 Sooner Athletic) back to eighth place in the conference, also the final slot of the SAC tournament in early March.

The Lions (16-7, 7-4) used a team-best 22 points from Isaak Rowe, who shot 9-of-11 from the field and added six assists, propelling a SAGU offense that collected 12 rebounds and committed only five turnovers in comparison to 14 assists.

Sophomore Brandon Joseph countered for the hosts, as the netted a season-high 24 points on four triples and a perfect 6-of-6 night from the stripe. Sophomore Jake Caudle also stepped up with a 21-point performance, knocking back four treys. Senior Zach English posted a quiet 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the loss.

Narrowly out-boarding the hosts, Southwestern A.G. shot exactly 50 percent from the field (30-of-60) while the Golden Eagles managed a close 49 percent (24-of-49). The difference in the contest was JBU's six more miscues and the Lions' ability to record 11 more shot opportunities.

While the Golden Eagles had pieced together a three-game winning streak, the loss took JBU's chance away to take adaveantage of two more teams ahead of John Brown in the SAC standings losing, league leaders Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Christian, further condensing the already tightly-packed league.

Sophomore Marquis Waller's layup with 1:36 left in the contest pulled JBU within five, 74-69, but a devastating triple from SAGU's Keyunta Walker on the ensuing possession all but iced the contest.

Keyunta, haunted by foul trouble, still managed 14 points while Lance Tipton and Josh Swearingin each added 12 points in the win. Tipton grabbed a game-high eight boards.

JBU returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 4) in a 3 p.m. matchup with Wayland Baptist (Texas). The Golden Eagles fell 91-66 back on Jan. 7 in Plainview, Texas. The Pioneers have won seven straight in the series with John Brown.

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