JBU men pick up road win at Panhandle State

GOODWELL, Okla. -- Junior Drew Miller had a game-high 18 points and completed his fourth double-double of the season with 11 rebounds and the John Brown University men's basketball team captured a 70-66 over Oklahoma Panhandle State on Thursday night.

"What a gritty effort out of our team tonight," Coach Jason Beschta said. "After a first half that was sloppy, our guys did a tremendous job of regrouping, refocusing and recommitting to what we needed to do to give ourselves a chance.

"Panhandle did a great job of battling back in some big finishes and shots late, but a great job by our guys to hit free throws and get enough stops to close it out."

Senior Tyren Collins hit five of nine from the floor and finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Trae Oetting hit five free throws and produced 12 points off the bench, while sophomore Josh Stewart added another 10 points and dished out a career-high six assists for the Golden Eagles.

Although trailing by four at the break, 31-27, JBU enjoyed five points apiece from Collins and Miller to open the second half -- in addition to a Lukas Gabani and-one effort -- which completed a 13-4 run over the first 5:04 to give John Brown a five-point lead, 40-35.

Another 11-4 run midway through the half, powered by a Collins three pointer and layups from Oetting and Stewart, opened a 10-point lead with just over eight minutes left. Panhandle State responded and crept within five, but Gabani's layup was followed by a Miller three pointer that stymied the comeback attempt.

Then, after pulling within four, 62-58, the Aggies made one more charge at erasing the gap, but John Brown finished 6 of 6 at the charity stripe in the final 3:08 and absorbed the late Panhandle State effort.

Miller finished 50% from the floor (6 of 12) and hit four three pointers in the win. JBU outrebounded Panhandle State 40-29, improving to 10-1 on the season when winning the battle on the boards.

Wayland Baptist 75, JBU 62

PLAINVIEW, Texas -- John Brown University men's basketball team surged back from a 17-point deficit, but couldn't close the gap in a 75-62 loss at Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles (12-9, 10-6 Sooner Athletic) rode five points from junior Drew Miller, including a run-ending three pointer, in the second half to whittle down a 17-point deficit into a three-possession game, 61-52, but JBU finished the final 7:31 of the contest just 3 of 13 from the field. The Pioneers dominated the paint 46-26 and shot 53% from the floor to pull away down the stretch.

Sophomore Malachi Reeves led JBU with 15 points and five assists. Senior Tyren Collins produced 14 points, while sophomore Josh Stewart provided a spark off the bench by netting 10 points.

The Golden Eagles were limited to 36% (24 of 67) from the floor and just 21% from long range.

"Tough one today for us against a very good Wayland Baptist team," Coach Jason Beschta said. "They were able to really score consistently, and while we did a lot of good things on offense, we just missed a lot of shots today.

"I loved seeing us take better care of the ball than we have recently and we showed a lot of fight and never gave up. I love this group and am proud of them. We will regroup and come back committed to getting better next week."

D'Michael Bellfield proved unstoppable for Wayland Baptist, hitting all 11 field goals attempted to finish with a game-high 22 points. Meikkel Murray tallied 16 and Tahjae Hill poured in three three pointers to finish with 15 points. Quentin Coleman added 14 points.

Reeves and Miller hit consecutive layups as John Brown owned an early one-point lead, 12-11, just over 5 minutes into the contest. Freshman Trae Oetting hit a three pointer to bump the advantage to four, 17-13. Then after four quick lead changes, the Pioneers ended the first 20 minutes on a 12-3 run that saw the Golden Eagles fall cold offensively, converting just 1 of 13 in the final 8:33 of the half.

Wayland scored on 10 of its next 15 shots to open the second half, cementing a 22-13 run and enjoyed a game-high 17-point lead with 12:23 left in the game.

The Golden Eagles return to Siloam Springs on Thursday night to face North Texas at Dallas. Tip is set for 7:45 p.m.