National spotlight shines as Golden Eagles dispatch Flying Queens in convincing fashion

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Turning a 10-point halftime lead into a 22-point advantage after the third quarter, the No. 20 John Brown University women's basketball team earned a major upset by taking an 85-69 win over No. 16 Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Saturday (Feb. 4) afternoon in the NAIA National Game of the Week.

The win pulls the Golden Eagles (17-6, 9-3 Sooner Athletic) within one game of the Flying Queens (19-3, 10-2) in the SAC standings with a pivotal matchup with No. 7 Oklahoma City on Thursday (Feb. 9) night in Abe Lemons Arena at 6 p.m. The victory also ended a vaunted WBU 14-game winning streak, its last loss coming to Oklahoma City, 100-65, on the road on Dec. 3.

JBU now holds its own winning streak, which continued to seven, and entered the contest looking to exact revenge after the Flying Queens handed the Golden Eagles a stunning 100-72 setback on Jan. 7 in Plainview. The victory also pads the Golden Eagle tournament resume as JBU's second upset win of the season.

The visitors held an early 8-3 lead, but a quick 10-2 run turned an 11-8 JBU deficit into an 18-13 lead, prompting WBU to call a timeout. The Golden Eagles never relinquished the lead, hitting six first-quarter triples to take a 26-20 lead into the second stanza.

An and-one from sophomore Baily Cameron pushed the lead to double-digits for the first time, 35-24, and back-to-back buckets, a triple from junior Courtney Fine and a drive in the paint by junior Jana Schammel, pushed the lead to a half-high 14, 40-26.

The third quarter is where JBU ultimately asserted itself. Triples from Schammel and junior Luize Skrastina jump-started a 14-2 run to build a 56-34 lead. In fact, the visitors were held to just one field goal for the first 6:16 of the third, allowing John Brown to build a massive 24-point lead.

The Flying Queens didn't go away quietly, however, and mounted a comeback in the final frame as JBU shot just 21.4 percent from the field. Whittling the lead down to just 12 with just 2:50 left, the Golden Eagles held on with a pair at the line from Schammel that was followed up by a bucket in the paint to seal the upset.

The staunch JBU defense kept the Flying Queens off balance all night, including keeping Jade Jones to just eight points and a 4-of-17 mark from the floor. In the last outing, Jones dropped 46 on John Brown. WBU shot just 36.8 percent on the game (25-of-68) and connected on just 9-of-28 triple attempts.

Shayla Monreal put up 15 points while Maci Merket added 14. They were the only two players that reached double figures for WBU. Kendrick Clark totaled nine while Jade Jones, Shawna Monreal and Deborah VanDijk all contributed eight. Jones also brought down 11 rebounds.

JBU countered with a 20-point outburst from Cameron, who posted her fourth double-double of the season by grabbing a team-high 10 boards. More impressively, she passed around seven assists, a career-best, flirting with her first-career triple-double.

Schammel again proved vital off the bench, adding 18 points on a 9-of-9 afternoon from the stripe. Sophomore Preslea Reece contributed 12 points and six boards while senior Kodee Powell finished 4-of-8, scoring 10 points and dishing out five assists in the win.

Both teams committed 18 turnovers, but it was JBU's eight offensive rebounds and the ensuing possession efficiency. The Golden Eagles, incredibly, scored on all eight secondary possession, out-scoring the visitors 16-4 in second-chance points.

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