Large lead evaporates as men’s basketball falls narrowly at Benedictine

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ATCHISON, Kan. -- A 22-5 first-half run wouldn't hold as the John Brown University men's basketball team was out-scored 56-40 from that point on as host No. 20 Benedictine (Kan.) escaped with a 73-71 win on Tuesday night (Nov. 7) inside the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.

In the Golden Eagles' (1-1) first road outing of the season, junior Marquis Waller led a trio in double-figure scoring with 12 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the line, while adding a team-best eight rebounds. Junior Josh Bowling added 11 points and five boards while sophomore Brenton Toussaint shot 5-of-8 from the floor to score 10 points in the loss.

JBU leading scorer Jake Caudle was limited to just eight points before fouling out as the visitors shot just 38.1 percent from the field (24-of-63) while the Ravens (1-1) hit 46.3 percent of its attempts from the floor, converting 25-of-54.

At the 6:28 mark of the first half, junior Benjamin Smith hit a triple to give the visitors a commanding 31-17 lead, but JBU couldn't score a field goal for the remainder of the half, and the Ravens rebounded with a 16-4 run to close the first half, narrowing the gap to just two points.

After the seventh tie of the game at 57, Benedictine pulled out to a seven-point lead, 66-59, until Bowling converted an and-one and Smith put back a Waller miss to bring the deficit back to just four.

The lead grew back to six with just 42 seconds remaining, but a Rokas Grabliauskas pair of conversions at the line and a Waller field goal brought JBU back within just one point with six seconds left. After a quick foul, Benedictine could only convert the front end, leaving Bowling with the rebound on the back end. Out of time, Bowling heaved up a shot that wouldn't fall.

JBU won the battle of the boards, 39-35, along with a 14-6 second-chance points advantage and a 21-16 margin in bench scoring.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday (Nov. 11) in Springfield, Mo., where it faces Evangel at 8 p.m.

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