Orpo’s hot shooting off bench highlights Golden Eagles’ depth in win over Bacone

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Rosa Orpo came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points and the No. 23 John Brown University women's basketball team improved to 8-2 inside Bill George Arena with a 79-52 win over Bacone (Okla.) on Thursday (Jan. 26) evening.

The Golden Eagles (14-6, 6-3 Sooner Athletic) have now won four straight and used 30 bench points to capture the 17-point win over the Warriors (6-11, 4-5), who entered the contest winners in three of its previous four.

Orpo entered the contest averaging 5.5 points per game, but exploded for her career-high by knocking down 5-of-8 from behind the three-point line and 7-of-10 overall from the field. She also contributed six boards, also a season-best, and nabbed three steals in the win.

"I think we've finally reached a point in the season where we have different people step up every night," said head coach Jeff Soderquist, who clinched win number 299, just one away from a coaching landmark. "Tonight, it was obviously Rosa, and last game, Luize (Skrastina) had a really nice game for us. We're a lot deeper than we were last year."

"I told Rosa today that I didn't think we were utilizing her abilities the best we could. She came in tonight and hit those open shots. Other than scoring 20 points, I thought she did a great job playing in our zone (defense) and grabbed some key rebounds."

Again, John Brown was lethal from behind the arc, converting 12-of-30 attempts from long range, as six different players drained triples. JBU continues to lead the nation in treys, three-point shooting efficiency and triples per game. Senior Kodee Powell and sophomore Preslea Reece each added a pair of triples in the win.

Three players other than Orpo finished in double-digit scoring for the hosts, including freshman Jordan Martin, who made her fourth-consecutive start. Martin hit an efficient 6-of-9 from the field to score 15 points while Powell added 13 points and five assists, a game-best. Junior Kimmy Deines contributed a strong game slashing her way into the paint to score 10 points and posted seven boards and three assists.

Sophomore Baily Cameron, limited by foul trouble in the first half, was limited to just six points but picked up the slack on the defensive end by grabbing 10 boards, a game-best. She also added five assists in just 22 minutes of play.

Thirteen first-half turnovers plagued the Golden Eagles as Bacone turned a 20-11 first-quarter deficit into a four-point game at the intermission, 39-35. JBU adjusted, however, committing just three miscues in the second half, efficiently breaking the Warrior press and limiting the visitors to just 17 second-half points and a 21.9 percent shooting mark in the second half.

Cierra Miles paced Bacone with 16 points while Bailey Scarberry added 14 on 4-of-16 shooting from the floor. Ashley Barry-Wallace contributed 11 points and 8 boards in the loss.

JBU dominated the glass, 46-31, and turned 15 Warrior errors into 15 points. Although the Golden Eagles finished with 16 turnovers, the visitors could only manage eight points on ensuing possessions.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday (Jan. 28) and will travel to Mid-America Christian (Okla.) for a 3 p.m. tip. MACU won both meetings with John Brown a season ago, but Saturday's matchup marks the first meeting of the season between the two squads as Soderquist attempts to guide the team to a fifth-straight win and capture win No. 300.

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