Golden Eagles stunned, await at-large fate

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- The No. 16 John Brown University women's basketball team was only able to score 15 points in the first and fourth quarter combined, and upstart Science & Arts (Okla.) used a late triple to overcome a 15-point deficit to take a 67-62 decision inside Bill George Arena on Tuesday (Feb. 28) evening in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals.

In a wild affair that had five lead changes and a total difference of 26 points, the sixth-seeded Drovers (12-15) overcame a second-quarter deficit that came after the third-seeded Golden Eagles (22-8) out-scored the visitors 27-10 in the second quarter to take a 35-26 lead into the break.

JBU opened the scoring with a Luize Skrastina triple, but missed its next 13 shots, allowing USAO to construct a 14-3 lead in front of a raucous BGA student section. The Golden Eagles opened the game shooting 7 percent through most of the first frame.

Then the hosts responded with a huge 38-12 run over the next 14 minutes of play stretching into the third quarter, handing John Brown its largest lead of the game (15) when senior Kodee Powell buried a triple to push the score to 41-26.

Junior Jana Schammel's triple with 1:59 left in the third quarter kept the lead at 11, 55-44, but Science & Arts responded with a 7-0 run over the final 1:33 to trim the deficit to four, 55-51, with 10 minutes to play.

Two weeks ago, the Golden Eagles used a 28-10 fourth-quarter surge to fend off USAO inside Bill George Arena. In the teams' third meeting this season, the Drovers returned the favor.

Shooting just 3-of-14 in the final period, JBU allowed USAO to tie the score twice early before taking a five-point lead. After nearly four minutes of both teams working through offensive futility, a quick triple from Powell followed by a beautiful pass from Schammel to a cutting Baily Cameron, who split a pair of defenders and laid in the tying shot, tied the score at 62 with just 64 seconds left.

Out of a JBU timeout, the Drovers looked like launching a good shot attempt wouldn't happen, until Dierra Ely's prayer of a triple from the top of the key fell, providing the difference in the contest. The Drovers would hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left, but a lethal turnover with 32 seconds left ended the host's chances of advancing to Oklahoma City for the semifinal round.

The difficult loss ended John Brown's five-game winning streak. USAO advances to take on second-seeded Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Friday (March 3) at 1 p.m.

Ely's 19 points paced all players and 10 boards landed her the double-double as the Drovers out-rebounded JBU 42-38 and winning the vast majority of loose balls. Rebecca Worthy scored 17 points on three triples and collected eight caroms in the win.

Powell's 14 points paced John Brown while Cameron and Schammel each added 13 points.

The Drovers won the contest via 21 points off 15 JBU turnovers and scoring 16 of its points as a result of 12 offensive rebounds. USAO also out-muscled JBU in the paint to the tune of 39-19.

The Golden Eagles will now wait to see if the NAIA extends an at-large berth to the 2017 NAIA National Championships to be held in Billings, Mont. from March 15-21.

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