JBU men sweep road trip
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.
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.