Texas two-step

JBU men sweep road trip

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - From JBU Sports In­for­ma­tion

FORT WORTH, Texas — The John Brown Uni­ver­sity men’s bas­ket­ball team pieced to­gether a game-end­ing 21-7 run over the fi­nal 7 min­utes, 36 sec­onds to knock off No. 11 Texas Wesleyan 80-65 on Satur­day af­ter­noon in­side the Sid Richard­son Cen­ter.

Less than 48 hours af­ter hand­ing No. 18 South­west­ern As­sem­blies of God (Texas) a 9378 set­back in Wax­a­hachie, the Li­ons’ largest home loss in nearly six cal­en­dar years, the Golden Ea­gles (7-2, 3-0 Sooner Ath­letic) re­mained per­fect in con­fer­ence play, rid­ing a game-high 21 points from se­nior Josh Bowl­ing.

It’s the first time JBU has swept its two-game con­fer­ence road swing at SAGU and at Texas Wesleyan since the two teams joined the con­fer­ence for the 2013-14 sea­son.

The game Satur­day was largely won at the free throw line as John Brown sank 28 of 33 (85 per­cent) from the line, in­clud­ing an 11-of12 ef­fort from Bowl­ing, while the Rams (6-3, 1-1) fin­ished just 9 of 16 (53 per­cent) at the stripe.

The game-win­ning run fea­tured a staunch John Brown de­fense that lim­ited the Rams, which en­tered the con­test shoot­ing 50 per­cent from the field, to a 1 of 9 mark from the floor and three turnovers over Texas Wesleyan’s fi­nal 16 pos­ses­sions of the con­test.

Bowl­ing con­nected on all six at­tempts at the stripe, and ju­nior Des­mond Kennedy and sopho­more Rokas Grabli­auskas each hit timely triples as John Brown fin­ished the con­test 12 of 29 (41 per­cent) from be­hind the arc.

Five play­ers fin­ished in dou­ble fig­ures for the vis­i­tors, as Kennedy hit all six free throws and fin­ished with 18 points while se­nior Jake Cau­dle, Grabli­auskas and sopho­more Den­sier Carnes each con­trib­uted 12 points apiece.

Most im­pres­sive was the John Brown de­fense which, af­ter al­low­ing Col­lege of the Ozarks (Mo.) to score 104 on Mon­day, re­bounded in se­ri­ous fash­ion. SAGU and Wesleyan en­tered the week­end, com­bined, av­er­ag­ing 89.4 points per game. JBU re­sponded by al­low­ing just 71.5 points per game, hold­ing the ranked squads to 20 points be­low their of­fen­sive av­er­ages.

“Another gutty per­for­mance by our guys go­ing on the road against a team that has won our league the last three years,” head coach Ja­son Beschta said. “I was re­ally im­pressed with our tough­ness. We fin­ished the first half strong, thanks to a few stops and

Des­mond hit­ting some timely shots for us. But what im­pressed me most was af­ter Wesleyan made their big­gest run of the game, we re­ally played well de­fen­sively and lim­ited their looks.

“We made a cou­ple of big shots on the of­fen­sive end and hit our free throws. It was a great road trip for us — start­ing out con­fer­ence play at 3-0 is no easy task, es­pe­cially against two of the tough­est teams. We are go­ing to con­tinue to push our­selves to pre­pare be­cause it’s not go­ing to get any eas­ier from here.”

Juwan Jones scored 15 for Texas Wesleyan in the loss. Ju­lian Torres added 11 points.

John Brown con­trolled the boards to the tune of 32-19, and en­joyed 33 points off the bench, led by Kennedy and Carnes’ ef­forts.

Com­plet­ing a three­game road trip with a 2-1 mark, the Golden Ea­gles will now rest un­til Thurs­day when it wel­comes No. 5 Ok­la­homa City (6-2, 1-1) trav­els to Bill Ge­orge Arena for an 8 p.m. start time.

Photo cour­tesy of Texas Wesleyan

John Brown sopho­more Den­sier Carnes, left, and se­nior Josh Bowl­ing de­fend Satur­day against Texas Wesleyan. The Golden Ea­gles de­feated the No. 11-ranked Rams to com­plete a two-game road trip in Texas. JBU also won at South­west­ern As­sem­blies of God last Thurs­day.

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