Caudle, Roberts post season-bests in see-saw contest

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Senior Ricky Roberts poured in a game-best 28 points and sophomore Jake Caudle added a season-best 23, helping the John Brown University men's basketball team overcome a double-digit deficit to hang onto a hard-fought 85-80 win over Randall (Okla.) on Monday (Nov. 21) evening inside Bill George Arena.

Caudle hit three triples and pulled down a team-best 11 boards to earn his first-career double-double while dishing out five assists. Roberts hit a season-best 10 field goals in the victory.

Senior Zach English continued his hot streak with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He now has double-digit points in four of his last five outings.

With the win, the Golden Eagles (6-3) have now won five of its last six and improve to 6-1 at Bill George Arena.

"We knew this would be a tough game," admitted head coach Jason Beschta, "it always is, every year. After allowing them to get a big lead on us early on, it's easy to freak out."

The Saints (2-6) did not go quietly, in fact at the 8:05 mark of the first half, Randall owned a 27-14 lead, a gap of 13 points, as the visitors started the game hot from the field.

"I thought we stayed away from doing things individually and kept to our game plan and earned some stops. We're getting good things on offense. We did a really nice job to finish the first half and continue it into the second half. We stayed relaxed."

JBU responded with a Caudle triple and a bucket from English in the post. Later at the 5:24 mark, Roberts converted an old-fashioned three-point play to pull the hosts within three, 27-24. Tied at 36 with 1:42 remaining in the stanza, sophomore Marquis Waller split a pair at the line and then converted another old-fashioned triple before Egedi's bucket with 13 seconds left allowed John Brown to escape the period with a six-point lead, 42-36, ending the half on a 16-4 run.

The rally continued into the second half as Caudle and Roberts piled on the points and sophomore Josh Bowling added a triple and the Golden Eagles also received a bucket from sophomore Benjamin Smith in the post. At the 15:41 mark, JBU had built a 20-point advantage, starting the second half on a 16-2 run.

Randall later would cut the lead to just five, 60-55, but a Caudle triple, a Roberts three-point play and a monster dunk from senior Miguel Martinez returned the lead to 11, 68-57, with 8:18 left in the contest.

Again the deficit fluctuated, this time trimmed down to a mere two, 74-72, but Caudle and Roberts again had an answer. Back-to-back dribble-drive scores from Roberts with 1:07 and 31 seconds left kept a cushion of four points until English and Roberts combined to convert 3-of-4 from the line in the final 20 seconds.

The Saints sunk a put-back as time expired. But over the final 30 seconds, Randall missed 3-of-4 from the floor in its attempts to complete the comeback.

Trey Sneed poured in 22 points on 10-of-15 from the field while Ben Collier added 15 on a perfect 4-of-4 night from behind the arc. Kashus Lyons contributed 11 points off the bench in the loss for Randall.

Both teams shot just shy of 50 percent on the night, but 17 Saints turnovers cost the visitors to the tune of 21 JBU points off turnovers. Randall compensated by sinking 10-of-19 from three-point range (52.6 percent).

John Brown will now take a week off an return to action on Monday (Nov. 28) and will welcome Philander Smith (Ark.) to Bill George Arena in a rematch that saw the Panthers land a narrow 84-80 win over JBU on Nov. 19.

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