Golden Eagles lose in semi-finals of SAC Tournament


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Senior Andy Garcia was JBU's leading scorer against Oklahoma Christian with a total 15 points.

Siloam Springs, Arkansas (March 2, 2012) - by Jessica Flynn

The Golden Eagles walked off the court in Bill George Arena after a disappointing 59-56 loss in the semi final round of the SAC Championship Tournament Friday evening.

JBU leaves the SAC Tournament with an overall record of 24-8. OC increases their overall record to 19-12 and will continue on to the SAC Championship game Saturday evening.

Senior Andy Garcia led JBU with 15 points and nine rebounds followed by junior EJ McWoods with 10. Senior Adrian Miller followed Garcia with seven rebounds and also led the Golden Eagles in assists with four.

For OC, Will Reinke led the Eagles with 15 points and nine rebounds. Three players tied with five rebounds, and Kendre Talley held five assists for the OC Eagles.

During the first half, JBU quickly took the lead with a 9-0 run. However, OC matched to tie the game at the 12:07 mark with their own 9-0 run. JBU responded with a 10-0 run giving them the highest lead of the game at the 7:45 mark with a three-pointer made by Freshman Max Hopfgartner. OC fought back eventually decreasing JBU’s lead to only two points heading into the locker room.

OC came back to the court driven in the second half quickly tying the game at 26-26 with a field goal made by Brandon Troutman. For six minutes, the game was basket for basket resulting in three more ties by the 13:38 mark. OC then had a 7-2 run to take their largest lead of seven points at the 10:57 mark.

JBU chased OC eventually decreasing their lead to one point by the 8:25 mark, but OC slid away again with a 10-4 run reaching a seven-point lead for the second time by the 4:12 mark. JBU continued to fight back, but OC stood their ground. With 24 seconds on the clock, senior Andy Garcia blocked a field goal, which would have increased OC’s lead to five. After the Golden Eagles drove down the court, junior EJ McWoods tossed up a long three-pointer, but couldn’t find the net as the buzzer silenced the arena.

For the game, JBU shot 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from field goal range and only 8.7% (2-of-23) from three-point land. Meanwhile, OC hit only 33.3 percent (19-of-57) of their attempts from the field, but sunk 26.7 percent (4-of-15) of their shots beyond the arch contributing to their win.

Next, the Golden Eagles wait to find out who they face in the NAIA National Championship Tournament.  The tournament bracket will be released on Wednesday.

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