Toilet paper unleashed; men’s basketball rides strong first half past Ecclesia

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- It took only 16 seconds, but small college's best tradition turned another year old as the John Brown University men's basketball team scored 51 points in the first half en route to a 97-65 victory over Ecclesia (Ark.) on Saturday night (Nov. 4) inside Bill George Arena.

Junior Jake Caudle scored a game-high 26 points, hitting 10-of-15 from the floor, including five triples, and the sold-out Bill George Arena crowd unleashed a wave of toilet paper, as the tradition dictates, onto the floor at the 19:44 mark of the first half when junior Marquis Waller's bunny hop found nothing but net.

John Brown never surrendered the lead after the toilet paper was thrown.

"This is such an incredible environment," head coach Jason Beschta said of the over 1,800 fans that packed the arena. "Thankfully to the JBU and local community for taking part in the tradition with us. We came out with a lot of focus and executed really well. I was pleased with our energy and the way we defended.

"It got a little sloppy when we had our lead, but offensively, we looked really good tonight and we shared the basketball really well."

The lead swelled to 32 points when freshman Nathan Corder's triple fell at the 14:09 mark of the second half, continuing a 13-5 run to open the second half.

The Golden Eagles (1-0) shot the ball well all evening, connecting on 39-of-69 attempts from the floor (56.5 percent) but also connected on 14 triples and limited the turnovers to just 14.

The defense was also a story as Ecclesia (0-2) turned the ball over 22 times, 10 of which were unforced, and shot just 4-of-15 from behind the arc. Dequcelan Bagsby led the Royals with 12 points, as did Cash Krueger.

A couple of familiar faces also drove the JBU offense as junior Josh Bowling finished 6-of-8 and registered 15 points, as did junior Benjamin Smith, who shot 6-of-9 and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Freshman Jaylon Rucker notched 10 points off the bench in his first collegiate outing while freshman counterpart Darrell Jones dished out four assists in his.

Sophomore Brenton Toussaint continued the crowd's frenzy just a few minutes after the toss by throwing down a one-handed slam off a feed from Caudle.

John Brown will travel to Atchison, Kan. on Tuesday (Nov. 5) to face Benedictine (Kan.) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.

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