JBU men thump Ecclesia for second time
■ The Golden Eagles host Bacone on Thursday to open Sooner Athletic Conference play.
A 53-26 lead at the intermission was all the John Brown University men’s basketball team needed as the Golden Eagles cruised to a 94-66 win, claiming its second victory over Ecclesia of the young season, on Saturday night inside Bill George Arena.
JBU also defeated Ecclesia 108-66 in the annual Toilet Paper Game on Nov. 3.
The JBU (3-1) offense just cleared its average of 95 points per game and shot more than 50 percent from the field for the third time in three home games.
Senior Jake Caudle poured in a game-high 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the floor, including a quartet of triples, while counterpart freshman Luke Harper added 10 points, six assists — a career high — and four rebounds.
Sophomore Densier Carnes, 4 of 6 from the floor, and senior Dwayne Hart, a perfect 3 of 3, each contributed 10 points off the bench, accounting nearly half of JBU’s points from the bench.
Harper hit back-to-back floating jumpers to put the Golden Eagles up 14 early, 20-6. Caudle and sophomore Rokas Grabliauskas teamed up for consecutive treys at the 7:23 mark ballooning the Ecclesia (0-5) deficit to 22. Carnes’ running layup off a Josh Bowling steal built a 39-15 advantage for the hosts.
The lead would hit 28, twice, before the teams broke for the intermission.
The second half was a foul parade as the teams combined for 30 fouls and 35 free throw attempts over the final 20 minutes of play. This segmented form of basketball seemed to favor the Royals as the visitors played John Brown to a 41-40 second half score, but the first half 27-point deficit was too much for Ecclesia to overcome.
Ecclesia shot just 38 percent (19 of 50) from the field, but missed more than 75 percent of its attempts from behind the arc (5-of21). Cash Krueger scored 13 points while Vince Toftness, 11 points, were the Royals’ lone double-digit scorers.
Junior Brenton Toussaint pieced together an odd stat line — seven rebounds, all on the offensive glass, and six points of the bench, helping John Brown to a 38-29 rebounding advantage. JBU is 3-0 when outrebounding its opponents and 0-1 when its opponent owns the battle on the boards.
JBU will now look forward to Thursday when the Golden Eagles host Bacone (Okla.) to open Sooner Athletic play. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. inside Bill George Arena.
John Brown 94, Ecclesia 66
Ecclesia 26 40 — 66 John Brown 53 41 — 94 Ecclesia (0-5): Krueger 13, Toftness 11, Worgu 9, Lockridge 7, Jenkins 7, Ross 6, Fulenwider 5, Freeland 4, Johnson 2, Chira 2.
John Brown (3-1): Caudle 20, Carnes 11, Hart 11, Harper 10, Bowling 8, Kennedy 8, Grabliauskas 6, Toussaint 6, Perrier 5, Bailey 4, Bayless 3, Corder 2.
John Brown senior Josh Bowling tries to make a play against Ecclesia last Saturday night as Royals guard De’Vontae Ross defends on the play.