Toi­let paper flies

JBU sweeps Ec­cle­sia in sea­son-opener

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Capshaw Staff Writer mcap­shaw@nwadg.com

Mar­quis Waller ex­tended both arms high above his head as thou­sands of rolls of toi­let paper rained down on him dur­ing a 9765 vic­tory over Ec­cle­sia Col­lege at Bill Ge­orge Arena on Satur­day.

Waller’s swish just 16 sec­onds into the game be­gan John Brown Univer­sity’s “Toi­let Paper Game” tra­di­tion where the ca­pac­ity crowd threw rolls of toi­let paper onto the court af­ter the home team’s first made field goal of the sea­son.

“I’m a ju­nior and this is my first year of mak­ing the shot, so I just re­acted a lit­tle to cel­e­brate,” Waller said. “It was a fun ex­pe­ri­ence get­ting to watch oth­ers make it, and it was a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence to ac­tu­ally be the one

I’m a ju­nior and this is my first year of mak­ing the shot, so I just re­acted a lit­tle to cel­e­brate. It was a fun ex­pe­ri­ence get­ting to watch oth­ers make it, and it was a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence to ac­tu­ally be the one to make the shot. It felt kind of like hit­ting a game-win­ning shot. Mar­quis Waller JBU guard

to make the shot.

“It felt kind of like hit­ting a game-win­ning shot.”

As al­ways, the Golden Ea­gles (1-0) were is­sued a tech­ni­cal foul for the home crowd’s dis­rup­tion, but the Roy­als de­clined shooting a free throw for the tech­ni­cal. It’s

the first time an op­po­nent has done that in the tra­di­tion’s 30-plus year his­tory.

“It’s all for fun, it’s tra­di­tion and we don’t want to get a free point that way,” said Ec­cle­sia coach Al Mc­Car­ron. “And the (toi­let paper) is all do­nated, so we didn’t want to take ad­van­tage of that. We were just for­tu­nate to play in front of this type of crowd.”

Waller beat his de­fender one-on-one for a turn­around jumper from about 6 feet out. How­ever, the orig­i­nal plan called for Waller to get open on a back-door cut for the shot. JBU coach Ja­son Beschta wasn’t sur­prised when the de­signed play for his team’s first pos­ses­sion didn’t pan out.

“What­ever you try to draw up for the first play of this game breaks down ev­ery time,” said the Golden Ea­gles’ third-year coach. “I was glad that we were able to get that early bucket and it didn’t take sev­eral min­utes, though.”

Jake Cau­dle, a ju­nior from Ben­tonville, lit it up from the arc to ig­nite JBU to a 51-29 half­time lead. He was 5 of 8 from three­p­oint range and scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. Ju­niors Josh Bowl­ing and Ben­jamin Smith each chipped in 15 points for JBU while fresh­man Jay­lon Rucker added 10 points in his col­le­giate de­but.

“Jake can re­ally shoot the ball and he can score in some other ways, too,” Bechta said. “He works ex­tremely hard, so he’s kind of earned the right to shoot some of these shots and we have a lot of con­fi­dence in him knock­ing those down like that.”

Cash Kreuger and De­quce­lan Bagsby each had 12 points to pace the Roy­als, but they couldn’t com­bat the Golden Ea­gles’

Jake can re­ally shoot the ball and he can score in some other ways, too. He works ex­tremely hard, so he’s kind of earned the right to shoot some of these shots and we have a lot of con­fi­dence in him knock­ing those down like that. Ja­son Bechta JBU men’s bas­ket­ball coach on Jake Cau­dle, who scored a game-high 26 points

56.5 per­cent shooting (36 of 69) from the floor, which in­cluded 14 three­p­oint­ers. Sev­eral of JBU’s game-chang­ing runs were trig­gered by its de­fense, which forced 22 turnovers by ro­tat­ing be­tween a full-court press and a half­court trap­ping de­fense.

“They took us out of our game,” Mc­Car­ron said. “It looked like we were in slow mo­tion a lot and it looked like we were ex­hausted at one point be­cause their pres­sure re­ally took us out of run­ning our stuff. They did a good job de­fen­sively.”

Waller, who made “the shot,” but later missed a wide-open dunk, fin­ished with nine points.

“I was try­ing to dunk it too hard,” Waller said. “But I’m glad I hit ‘the shot,’ glad we got the win and looking for­ward to a great sea­son.”

The Golden Ea­gles were sched­uled to re­turn to ac­tion Tues­day at Bene­dic­tine (Kan.). Re­sults were not avail­able at presstime. JBU re­turns to the court at 8 p.m. Satur­day at Evan­gel (Mo.).

Photo cour­tesy of John Brown Univer­sity

Fans at Bill Ge­orge Arena on the cam­pus of John Brown Univer­sity toss toi­let paper onto the court af­ter John Brown’s Mar­quis Waller scored the first bas­ket of the sea­son Satur­day.

Photo cour­tesy of John Brown Univer­sity

John Brown Univer­sity ju­nior Jake Cau­dle looks for a pass against Ec­cle­sia dur­ing Satur­day’s game at Bill Ge­orge Arena.

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