Men’s basketball closes season, falls in valiant fashion at SAGU

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- The seventh-seeded John Brown University men's basketball team closed an early gap midway through the first half, but second-seeded Southwestern A.G. (Texas) avenged a loss earlier this season and took a 76-66 win inside the Shaeffer Center on Tuesday (Feb. 28) evening in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals.

Sophomore Marquis Waller hit back-to-back triples and pieced together a personal 8-0 run over a 2:03 span that reduced a 24-14 SAGU lead to just two, but an 11-6 run to open the second half allowed the Lions (23-8) to pull away, ending the JBU season on the road.

The victory for the hosts avenged an earlier mid-season setback in which the Golden Eagles (15-15) took a 71-64 win on Jan. 12. 

Waller and senior Ricky Roberts each finished with a team-best 16 points while sophomore Benjamin Smith pulled down a game-high 10 boards. Senior Zach English added eight points, as did sophomore Brandon Joseph.

The Golden Eagles had a difficult time getting the offense going, shooting just 35.5 percent (22-of-62) and allowed the Lions to turn 15 turnovers into 18 points. SAGU narrowly won the battle of the glass, 43-42.

Surviving the scare by JBU, Southwestern A.G. was led by Josh Williams' 16 points and 10 boards, recording his second double-double of the season. Keyunta Watkins splashed four triples to add 14 points while Kentton Williams and Isaak Rowe contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The Lions advance to Oklahoma City to face third-seeded and host Oklahoma City on Friday (March 3) at 8 p.m.

The Golden Eagles saw the end to the careers of a quartet of seniors in English, Roberts, Matthew Ledford and Miguel Martinez.

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