Martinez, flush fest send men’s basketball over Bacone in wild second half

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- A seven-point lead didn't last long for the John Brown University men's basketball team as the Golden Eagles opened the second half on a 23-4 run and easily defeated Bacone (Okla.), 106-70 inside Bill George Arena on Thursday (Jan. 26) night.

Sophomore Jake Caudle eclipsed 20 points for the second time in three games and senior Miguel Martinez came off the bench to provide his first-career double-double and sophomores Brandon Joseph and Marquis Waller joined senior Matthew Ledford in double-digit scoring.

The Golden Eagles (12-8, 4-5 Sooner Athletic) have now won three of its last five and surpassed the century mark for the fourth time this season, moving to 10-3 inside Bill George Arena. The Warriors (4-13, 1-8) have now lost seven consecutive conference games.

Offensively, JBU shot 54.3 percent for the game, but connected at a 60 percent clip (21-of-35) in the second half, posting an impressive 65 points in the run-away 36 point victory. A quartet of dunks were peppered over the 40 minutes of play, highlighted by an alley-oop from senior Ricky Roberts that Waller threw down, much to the pleasure of the home crowd. 

"We ended the first half a little lackluster," admitted head coach Jason Beschta. "We made a statement by the way we guarded in the second half. The motion we ran was some of the best this season. I was excited to see how hard we played tonight; we played hard all the way through.

"Miguel (Martinez) played like a man possessed tonight. He wanted the ball, he had a lot of confidence and he put together a great game."

Martinez scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, finishing 5-of-9 from the field with 11 rebounds, six on the offensive glass, and three assists. Caudle led all players with 20, dropping four triples while Joseph added 13 and four assists. Waller contributed 13 on 5-of-10 shooting and Ledford came off the bench to add 11 on 3-of-4 shooting behind the arc, powering the Golden Eagles to a 52-40 advantage in the battle of the benches.

In a contest that John Brown trailed only once, its lead was only single digits for the entirety of the first half. It wasn't until the second-half surge that the Golden Eagles broke away for a game-high 40 point lead in the final minute of play.

Although the Warriors turned the ball over less, 16-12, JBU turned 14 offensive rebounds, en route to a 49-28 rebounding advantage, into 24 second-chance points, limiting Bacone to just six in the contest.

In fact, the lopsided second half featured a John Brown defense that limited the visitors to a 31.4 percent shooting mark (11-of-35) after Bacone erased a 10-point deficit midway through the first half.

Brandon Scott led the Warriors with 13 points off the bench while Brandon Chatman added 11, shooting just 3-of-12 in the game. JaMael Windom-Hayes scored 10 and added three boards.

JBU returns to the hardwood on Saturday (Jan. 28) at No. 23 Mid-America Christian (Okla.), the reigning National Champions. The tip in Oklahoma City is slated for 5 p.m.

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