The John Brown women's basketball team was waiting on head coach Jeff Soderquist when he entered the locker room following Thursday's 72-64 win against No. 5 Wayland Baptist.
The Golden Eagles sprayed water bottles at Soderquist in celebration of JBU's first win against an NAIA top-25 team this season after going winless in their first four tries.
"I think it was because they know we've been so close," Soderquist said.
The No. 19-ranked Golden Eagles (9-4, 3-1) dominated the final three minutes, outscoring Wayland Baptist 11-2 to secure the victory.
The Flying Queens (9-2, 3-1) led 62-61 with 3:01 left after a basket by Nina Sato, but Baily Cameron answered on the other end to give JBU a 63-62 lead they didn't relinquish.
JBU's defense got a stop and Jana Schammel cranked a 3-pointer from the far wing for a 66-62 lead.
"It was a good look and I was happy it went in," Schammel said. "That's a really great thing about our team -- anyone can score at any given time."
After another JBU stop, Cameron scored inside for a 68-62 lead and Sara Williams and Schammel combined to hit 4 of 6 free throws.
"I think the whole year we've always lacked being consistent during an entire game," Schammel said. "It's the first time we played a solid 40 minutes and a great start to the second half of the year."
Cameron scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half, including 10 in the fourth quarter. She also had 10 rebounds. Schammel finished with 12 points, and Rosa Orpo scored all 10 of her points in the first half, including eight straight to give JBU a 36-24 lead at halftime.
"Rosa was really big tonight," Schammel said.
JBU outrebounded the Flying Queens 38-31 and hit 17 of 22 free throws while limiting Wayland Baptist to just 4 of 9 from the foul line -- numbers Soderquist was pleased to see.
"I think it was a physical game, and we needed to win this because that's been our issue," Soderquist said. "We just haven't been physical, and it was a physical game. I thought our girls did a good job of stepping up to that physicality.
"We are last in free throw attempts. That's one thing we've been emphasizing is we've got to get to the free-throw line. We've got to attack more. I thought we did a good job of attacking and getting to the free-throw line."
Maci Merket led Wayland Baptist with 16 points, while Nina Sato had 15 and Morgan Bennett scored 12. After a 9-0 start to the season, the Flying Queens have lost two straight.
"John Brown did a nice job today," said Wayland Baptist coach Alesha Ellis. "They always give us trouble when we come here. They're really well coached and they execute well. You know teams that have competed at high levels they know how to compete when things get tight. I think John Brown did a nice job of that today. You know we knew coming into the game that it wasn't going to be easy. It's just a tough game to win on the road. I felt like John Brown handled the pressure a lot better than we did today."
John Brown returned to action on Saturday against Panhandle State (Okla.). Results were not available at presstime. The Golden Eagles head to Texas this week for games at Texas Wesleyan on Thursday and at Southwestern Assemblies of God on Saturday.
John Brown 72, Wayland Baptist 64
Wayland Baptist (9-2, 3-1): Merket 16, Sato 15, Bennett 12, VanDijk 11, Blakey 7, Gonzales 3.
John Brown (9-4, 3-1): Cameron 19, Schammel 12, Orpo 10, Skrastina 9, Williams 6, Martin 5, Chandra 4, Deines 3, Reece 2, Fergen 2.Sports on 01/07/2018
Print Headline: Women take down No. 5 Flying Queens