Martinez’s double-double not enough, men’s basketball drops finale in overtime

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BETHANY, Okla. -- Senior Miguel Martinez recorded his third double-double of the season, but the John Brown University men's basketball team could not hold onto a lead in overtime, falling in the season finale, 55-51, at Southwestern Christian (Okla.) on Saturday (Feb. 25) afternoon inside Pickens-Springer Gymnasium.

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Martinez opened the scoring in the extra session to hand the Golden Eagles (15-14, 7-11 Sooner Athletic) a 50-48 lead, but coming up empty on six of its last seven possessions of overtime sent JBU to its fourth-straight defeat.

Neither team shot well as the visitors hit 30 percent from the field (18-of-60), while SCU connected at a 27.7 percent (18-of-65) rate.

Beyond Martinez's double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds, he also swatted a trio of SCU shot attempts, two in overtime, while junior Sam Egedi contributed six points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Brandon Joseph hit a pair of triples to finish with eight points and senior Zach English posted seven points and seven boards.

The hosts' largest lead of the game, four, was the game's final score.

"I'm extremely proud of defensive effort today," said head coach Jason Beschta. "It was our best effort all year at locking down the dribble and playing great help defense. I thought our big men, especially Miguel, were phenomenal tonight, not only stopping but helping as well.

"Doing this without Jake, who is arguably our best overall defender, is exciting to see. It's rare to have this many guys go cold on the same night, so to have that happen and still have a chance to win was encouraging."

The Golden Eagles will now hit the road in the SAC tournament quarterfinals where it has won already before this year in Waxahachie, Texas. JBU, the seventh seed, will face Southwestern A.G. (Texas) inside the Shaeffer Center on Tuesday (Feb. 28). Opening tip is still to be determined.

"We are going to be at our absolute best come tournament time," Bescta added. "I can say with all certainty that we are overall playing best basketball. I'm excited about the opportunity ahead of us."

Jamal Ray and Joshua Simmons paced the limited Christian offense to the tune of 17 points apiece. Simmons completed his eighth double-double of the year with 11 boards, despite the Golden Eagles out-rebounding the hosts 47-38 in the contest.

Eighteen turnovers cost the Golden Eagles to the tune of 11 points. The hosts only turned the ball over seven times in the win.

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