John Brown got the 2019 portion of its basketball schedule off to a ringing start.
The No. 21-ranked Golden Eagles got off to a fast start and never let off the gas in a 73-37 rout of Central Christian (Kan.) on Community Night on Thursday at Bill George Arena.
The Golden Eagles surged out to an 18-3 lead early in the first half and never looked back in improving to 11-3 overall and 5-1 in Sooner Athletic Conference play.
JBU led 33-14 at halftime and led by as many as 40 points in the second half.
"If you were looking at this from either coach's side, you're probably thinking it was a really good night for John Brown and just one of those not good nights for Central Christian," said JBU coach Jason Beschta. "They're a lot better team that what this was."
Jake Caudle hit a 3-pointer to start things off for JBU and Brenton Toussaint had an early basket and a 5-0 lead.
Central Christian's T.J. Williams scored to make it 5-2, and Paul Ard hit a free throw for a 5-3 score.
JBU then went on a 13-0 run to pull ahead 18-3.
Josh Bowling had a driving shot to the basket and Caudle hit another 3-pointer. Caudle, Quintin Bailey and Desmond Kennedy all added baskets in the run.
Central Christian got back within 12 midway through the first half, but JBU finished the half on an 11-4 run to take a 33-14 lead.
JBU opened the second half on a 10-3 tear to take a 43-17 lead with Bowling scoring six of those points.
"You've got to feel good about it from our side for sure and say we made a statement with this," Beschta said. "It was great to see us really commit to defending against a good team. They're a team that's a possession away in a couple of games from being one of the top teams in the league. They're talented. I was just really proud of the way we jumped on them from the beginning and didn't let up."
JBU wound up shooting 27 of 55 from the field overall and only 6 of 25 from behind the 3-point line. Inside the arch, however, JBU hit 21 of 30 shots (70 percent). The Golden Eagles also hit 13 of 15 free throws and only turned the ball over 13 times.
Central Christian (7-5, 1-4), meanwhile, hit 10 of 49 overall (20.4 percent), including a dreadful first-half shooting performance where they hit only 3 of 23 shots (13 percent) from the field.
Bowling led the Golden Eagles with 18 points, while Desmond Kennedy had 13, Rokas Grabliauskas 11 and Caudle 10.
Jubril Osagie led Central Christian with 12 points.
JBU was scheduled to return to action Saturday at No. 4 Langston. Results were not available at presstime.
The Golden Eagles play at Science and Arts (Okla.) on Thursday before returning home on Saturday, Jan. 12, to play Mid-America Christian.
It's an important stretch of games from here on out as the Golden Eagles strive to remain in the upper tier of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
"People know, you've got to take care of business at home against most everybody," Beschta said. "We've already dropped one at home. Then you've got to steal some on the road. Honestly, you've probably got to find a way to sweep some of the teams that are below you if you're really going to have a chance to be there, which means stealing some more on the road. I think we're ahead of that already with three good wins on the road."
John Brown 73, Central Christian 37
Central Christian (7-5, 1-4): Osagie 12, Rivera 7, Williams 6, Epps 4, Kuminga 2, Diatta 2, Ard 1, Staten 1, Berg 1, King 1.
John Brown (11-3, 5-1): Bowling 18, Kennedy 13, Grabliauskas 11, Caudle 10, Carnes 7, Toussaint 4, Perrier 4, Corder 2, Harper 2, Bailey 2.Sports on 01/06/2019
Print Headline: Golden Eagles start hot, crush Tigers