JBU men defeated at MNU
OLATHE, Kan. — Seniors Josh Bowling and Jake Caudle each scored nine in the first half and the Golden Eagles forced nine turnovers to hold the lead at the half, but the shooting went cold over the final quarter of the contest as the John Brown University men’s basketball team fell 75-68 at No. 19 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Friday night inside the Bell Family Arena.
Overcoming a 12 of 32 shooting effort (37.5 percent) in the first half, the Golden Eagles (2-1) rode the pair of seniors to a 41-36 advantage at the half as the hosts turned the ball over nine times. The first 20 minutes of play was a see-saw affair as each team tied the score three times apiece and traded the lead 12 times.
The second half saw the Pioneers (4-0) outscore JBU by 12 as the visitors could only manage a 10 of 36 mark (27.8 percent) from the field, including draining just 4 of 18 from behind the arc.
“There were a lot of things I was pleased with tonight — some really good stretches defensively, especially when we were down in the second half,” said head coach Jason Beschta. “We did a really good job of taking care of the ball too. I think we’re one of the best threepoint shooting teams in the nation, and we weren’t good tonight. But we are going to keep looking for those shots. Tonight was a good test against a talented team on the road. It will help us figure out what we need to do to get better, and I expect our guys to view it as such.”
Facing a 63-54 deficit, the Golden Eagles used a pair of Desmond Kennedy treys during a 2:50 stretch that saw John Brown go on an 8-0 run that whittled the MNU lead to just one, 63-62. However, that’s when the cold shooting began, and a pair of free throws from Jonathan Green followed shortly by an and-one from Dante Scroggins.
A Brenton Toussaint layup broke a four-minute drought and another put-back brought JBU within three, 71-68, with 2:21 remaining. However, John Brown would be held scoreless while MidAmerica Nazarene hit all four chances at the charity stripe.
Caudle hit three triples and converted 6 of 7 from the line to lead John Brown with 17 points and three assists. Bowling added 11 and five boards while Kennedy came off the bench to contribute 11 of his own.
Scroggins led all scorers with 24 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field and finished the doubledouble with 12 boards. Kellan Turner and Jonathan Green netted 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The hosts out-rebounded the Golden Eagles, 4934, but John Brown forced 17 Pioneer turnovers while JBU committed only seven of its own.
JBU returned home against Ecclesia on Saturday night. Results were not available at presstime.
JBU opens Sooner Athletic Conference play at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at home against Bacone (Okla.).