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Drovers answer Golden Eagles’ rallies to get win

by Graham Thomas | November 23, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

John Brown's women kept making runs at Science & Arts (Okla.), and for every surge, the Drovers had an answer.

The result was Science & Arts holding on for a 76-71 victory over the Golden Eagles on Thursday, Nov. 17, inside Bill George Arena.

"I think give them credit in the second half," said JBU coach Jeff Soderquist. "For every run that we made, they were eventually able to answer it. I thought 'here we go' and they would answer. There were a number of times where I thought we were making runs and cutting it close and they were able to answer."

The Drovers controlled the first half, leading 16-12 after the first quarter and extending the margin to 39-28 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles struggled from the field, shooting just 8 of 26 overall (30.8) percent and just slightly better from behind the 3-point line (6 of 17).

USAO's Zaria Dorsey had 12 points in the first half and Brayanna Polk had 10.

"I think we were getting outworked," Soderquist said. "Our defense has been so good all year and we pride ourselves in not letting the ball get to the paint, and they had 25 shots in the paint, 18 points in the paint, seven points off offensive rebounds. Offensively we didn't do a very good job of handling their pressure. We had 22 turnovers. We had 12 at halftime. We're averaging 11 turnovers (coming in). You're not going to beat a good team with 22 turnovers.

"Some players didn't make shots they normally make. We had turnovers and then they got the ball where they wanted in the paint."

The Drovers pulled ahead by 17 twice in the third quarter after Polk hit a 3-pointer and Lainey Morrow scored seven straight points.

The Golden Eagles whittled it down to six toward the end of the third quarter, but Science & Arts got the lead back up to 10 at the end of the third and led by 16 again in the fourth.

A 15-4 run cut the USAO lead to 72-67 after back to back 3-pointers from Emily Sanders and Gracie Harris. But JBU could get no closer.

Dorsey finished with 17 to lead Science & Arts, while Polk and Diaka Berete each had 13 and Morrow and Tonija Fortune each with 10

"This is a new team," said USAO coach Darrick Matthews. "We have eight new players. There's a lot of growing that's happening, and there's a lot of teaching. With this new group, for them to find a way to just continue to fight and find a way to win it says a lot about them. JBU is a great team and they're well coached and they do everything right. So I was really proud of my group for coming out and finding a way to win."

Tarrah Stephens and Harris each had 16 points to lead JBU, while Sanders had 15 and Natalie Smith 11.

"(Harris has) been playing very well lately," Soderquist said. "She plays so hard. She's really been a spark defensively."

Texas Wesleyan 97, John Brown 75

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas Wesleyan tied a program record by hitting 15 triples, allowing the Rams to run past the John Brown University women's basketball team, 97-75, on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 19) inside the Sid Richardson Center.

The Golden Eagles (5-2, 0-2 Sooner Athletic) ran out to an early 11-4 lead, but Texas Wesleyan (4-1, 2-0) used a 23-7 run over the final 8:15 of the first quarter and never looked back as John Brown suffered a second straight defeat to open conference play.

Sophomore Emily Sanders scored a career-high 20 points, hitting four triples, and senior Tarrah Stephens contributed 19 points.

John Brown shot 43 percent from deep (9-of-21), but the Rams converted half of its 30 attempts from long range. The hosts also worked a 36-21 rebounding advantage.

Savanna Smith came off the bench to provide TXWES with 24 points, hitting 10-of-17 from the floor. Zionna Barbee produced 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc as a reserve as four Rams finished in double-figure scoring.

While both teams shot nearly 50 percent on the afternoon, the Golden Eagles committed six more turnovers, and allowed Wesleyan to convert six offensive rebounds into 12 points.

Up next

John Brown was scheduled to host Ecclesia on Monday. Because of early deadlines due to the Thanksgiving holiday, results were not available at presstime.

The Golden Eagles return to Sooner Athletic Conference action on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Central Christian (Kan.).

Print Headline: Drovers answer Golden Eagles’ rallies to get win

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