Men’s basketball continues climb up standings, ends streak versus Pioneers

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- As it often has before this season, the John Brown University men's basketball team made its living at the free throw line, this time hitting 32-of-42 in a foul-plagued contest to grab a 90-81 win over Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Saturday (Feb. 4) afternoon inside Bill George Arena, snapping a seven-game losing skid against the Pioneers.

Having lost three of its last four, the Pioneers (14-10, 6-6 Sooner Athletic) hoped to make it eight straight over JBU after knocking off Bacone (Okla.) on Thursday. Instead, senior Zach English continued his second-semester tear by scoring 23 points, a game-high, as sophomore Jake Caudle added 15 points, launching the Golden Eagles (14-9, 6-6) to its fourth win in five outings.

Battling through seven ties and eight lead changes, JBU held onto a single-digit lead through the majority of the second half, but finally an acrobatic and-one from sophomore Brandon Joseph with 1:23 remaining in the contest sealed the victory. Joseph stuck the free throw, hitting 6-of-7 in the contest to finish with 11 points.

Senior Ricky Roberts came off the bench to add 11 points, five at the line, as John Brown coaxed the visitors in committing 34 person fouls, prompting WBU's Cody Thomas and Russell Harrison, who scored 16 points in the losing effort. Maurice Redmond also added 16, but shot just 3-of-11 from the field. Joshua Throns and Marshall Nelson each contributed 11 points while J.J. Culver pulled down seven boards, helping Baptist to a narrow edge on the glass.

The Pioneers shot 44 percent from the field (26-of-59), but just 26 percent (5-of-19) from 3-point range. JBU countered with a 57 percent effort (25-of-44) from the floor.

Wayland and JBU are now are tied for sixth place in the conference standings, a game behind four teams all knotted for second, in the competitive and constantly-changing league standings.

The Golden Eagle schedule won't get any easier down the stretch as JBU now must pay a visit to No. 18 Oklahoma City on Thursday (Feb. 9) at 8 p.m. Three of JBU's final six contests come inside BGA where John Brown is 11-4 this season.

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