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PARAGOULD -- The nation's top three-point shooting team hit just 3 of 17 behind the arc in the first half and a late Crowley's Ridge defensive stand held off the the No. 10 John Brown University men's basketball team as the Golden Eagles suffered their first loss of the season at Crowley's Ridge (Ark.), 57-55, on Saturday afternoon inside the Carter Activity Center.

Sophomore Luke Harper hit back-to-back triples to give John Brown its fourth lead of the afternoon, 52-48, with 6 minutes, 39 seconds remaining, but the Pioneers held John Brown (11-1) to just one field goal for the remainder of the contest as JBU turned the ball over four times and shot 1 of 8 from the floor. CRC converted 7 of 8 from the charity stripe to keep the upset effort afloat over the final seven minutes of play.

It was not only the Pioneers' first victory over John Brown in program history, the two-point win marked the first time Crowley's Ridge had ousted an NAIA Top 25 opponent after the Golden Eagles knocked the Pioneers around 90-56 in the season opener at Bill George Arena.

"Not the way we wanted to finish out the first semester," head coach Jason Beschta said. "But, it doesn't at all take away from what we have done up to this point. This game should emphasize that we need to go into every game with the right mindset and be locked in to make great decisions. It wasn't an effort issue today, but there are things we can control that we need to do better -- and we have for the previous 11 games.

"I hope this game makes our guys hungry going into the Christmas break to refocus, recommit and keep climbing every day. We have an exciting second semester of conference games ahead of us."

The Golden Eagles started out the contest cold, allowing the hosts to build up a 17-5 lead almost midway through the first half. John Brown's long-range shooting woes, coupled with Kyle Moore's 13-point first-half effort kept John Brown in the deficit the entire first half. Senior Quintin Bailey's seven points and junior Densier Carnes' seven points and seven rebound effort kept JBU afloat and even powered the visitors to turn a 12-point deficit into four heading into the break by finishing off the first half on a 14-6 run.

The John Brown big men took over the start of the second half. Carnes' triple jump-started a 10-5 half-opening run that saw all 10 points scored by Carnes and Bailey. Consecutive buckets from Bo Roberson returned the lead to the hosts before buckets in the paint from freshman James Beckom and Carnes pulled the advantage back to the Blue and Gold, 43-42.

Consecutive triples swung the lead back to the Pioneers, but not for long, as Harper willed John Brown back into the lead, 49-48, with an old-fashioned three-point play followed by a triple. His second straight trey capped off a personal 9-0 run before Crowley's Ridge locked down on the defensive end to finish the contest.

Carnes, Bailey powered JBU to a 24-14 advantage in the paint, and the Golden Eagles held CRC to just six points from the bench. The visitors also claimed a 35-32 edge on the glass, but a 37 percent effort from the floor (20-of-54), including an 8-of-32 mark from behind the arc, was too much for John Brown to overcome.

Moore poured in a game-high 24 points for the Pioneers (4-8). He added six rebounds and five assists in the win. Roberson added 18 and four helpers.

John Brown will break for finals and Christmas before returning to action at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 31 in Joplin, Mo., to take on NCAA II Missouri Southern State in an exhibition game.

Sports on 12/18/2019

Print Headline: Golden Eagles suffer first loss at CRC

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