Men Knocked Out of First Round of SAC Tourney

Press Release Photo
Sam Bartlett scored 23 points and grabbed 10 boards in opening round action against NWOSU at the SAC tourney.

Oklahoma City (March 3, 2011) - The fourth seeded JBU men’s basketball team suffered the first upset of the 2011 Twid’s Sooner Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament after falling 68-73 to fifth seeded Northwestern Okla. State in the wee hours of Friday morning .

In a game that was originally scheduled to begin at 9:45, the teams didn’t take the floor until 11:00 p.m. due to a triple overtime game between No. 3 Rogers State (Okla.) and No. 6 Lubbock Christian (Texas) earlier that evening.  RSU eventually won 104-103.

For JBU (22-9), Sam Bartlett led the team with 23 points and 10 rebounds.  Andrius Mikutis chipped in with 11, and Coleson Rakestraw added 10.

For NWOSU (21-10), Jonathan Freemyer finished with a game high 24 points and seven rebounds, followed by Orren Tims with 22.  And Marshall Bell rounded out their double digit effort with 12.

Both teams got off to a slow start, but NWOSU managed to jump ahead by six, 16-10, after a three from Bell with 11:08 left in the first half. 

JBU climbed within three, 18-21, after a three from Mikutis at the 3:40 mark.  But the Rangers closed out the half on a 6-0 run to take a 27-18 lead into the locker rooms.

For the half, both teams struggled from the field with JBU only shooting 33.3 percent (7-21) compared to 31.3 percent (10-32) from NWOSU.  JBU also struggled from the foul line with a 1-of-8 performance for 12.5 percent compared to 5-of-7 from the Rangers for 71.4 percent.

In the second half, the Rangers blasted out of the gates and sprinted to a 44-25 lead with 13:45 left.  But the Golden Eagles wouldn’t be finished and slowly chipped away at the deficit making it a single digit game, 52-60, after a trey from Rakestraw with 4:58 to go.

After a series of traded buckets, the Rangers pushed it back to a 10 point game after a layup from Bell made it 66-56 with 2:10 remaining. But JBU responded and pulled within four, 63-67, after Andy Garcia sparked a 7-1 run capped off by a bucket from Ryland Allen with 1:08 to play. 

With time against them, JBU was forced to foul the rest of the way, but the Rangers went a perfect 6-of-6 down the stretch to hold on for the upset.

Overall, JBU shot 41.1 percent (23-56) for the game, while NWOSU hit 42.9 percent (24-56).  JBU loss the battle of the boards 41-37 and committed 17 turnovers while forcing only 11.  A major blow to the Golden Eagles came at the foul line where they went 14-of-25 for 56 percent.

The Rangers now advance to the semifinals to face Oklahoma Baptist.

JBU, meanwhile, must now wait to see if they’ll receive an at-large bid to this year’s national tournament.  The tournament qualifiers and bracket are scheduled to be released on Wednesday afternoon, March 9.


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