Claremore Daily Progress

January 11, 2013

SAC WOMEN'S BB: JBU topples St. Gregory's, 72-63

JBU MEDIA RELATIONS
JBU MEDIA RELATIONS

SHAWNEE — Down by six points at halftime, the John Brown University Golden Eagles responded by opening the second half on a 19-5 that resulted in an eventual 72-63 victory over St. Gregory's Thursday night in Shawnee.

Junior guard Sierra Shipley scored a season-high 20 points while scoring a game high three triples in addition to pulling down seven rebounds in the winning effort. Freshman forward Brooke Barker turned in an impressive performance, netting 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Barker has finished in double digits seven times so far this season and ranks No. 2 in the nation with a 94.6 free throw percentage.

Sophomore forward Abbie Warren turned in a nine-point performance, courtesy of a 3-for-3 shooting evening from the charity stripe. Sophomore forward Morgan Ankrom chipped in with eight points while senior guard Anna Parish and junior forward Kortni Barenberg each added seven points apiece. Warren and Parish each grabbed a team-high eight boards.

The Cavaliers opened the game quickly, building a 10-3 lead. The SGU advantage grew to eight points (13-5) as the host squad drained its third triple of the game with 14:00 remaining in the first half. After trimming the lead to five, Warren converted a pair of free throws and with Barker's 1-of-2 effort from the line, the visitors pulled within three (15-12). The home advantage would hover around eight for the remainder of the half as the Cavalier defense, which entered the game No. 21 in the nation in field goal percentage defense (35.7 percent), held John Brown to just 30 points in the first frame, shooting 35.5 percent (11-of-31). The Cavaliers didn't shoot much better, only knocking down 14-of-30 opportunities, taking a 36-30 lead into halftime.

The Golden Eagles came out a different team in the second half, kicking off the frame on a 19-5 streak that saw JBU take its first lead of the game at 40-39 with 15:40 on the clock. John Brown would eventually nab a 10-point advantage as its shooting from behind the arc caught fire. Three different shooters nailed treys as Shipley, Parish and Barenberg each converted opportunities en route to the double-digit lead.

With a 55-47 lead, freshman guard Tristan Carrasquillo came off the bench and netted a timely three-pointer, extending the visitors' lead to 14 points. St. Gregory's attempted to stay in the hunt but a pair of free throws from Barenberg and a Shipley field goal pushed John Brown to a game-high 15 point lead (67-52) with 3:58 left in the half.

The Cavaliers wouldn't let up as back-to-back triples pulled the hosts within seven (67-60), but an athletic and timely play from Barker allowed the freshman to drain a basket while earning the foul, which returned the Golden Eagle lead to 10 with 1:44 remaining.

The John Brown defense denied SGU a field goal over the final 2:02 of the contest. While the Golden Eagles were only able to shoot 37.5 percent (24-0f-64), JBU was able to knock down seven of its 10 three-pointers attempted (70.0 percent). St. Gregory's was only able to shoot at a 33.9 percent clip (19-of-56).

The Golden Eagles dominated the boards, outrebounding the opposition 47-34, converting its advantage to a 17-4 scoring margin in second chance points. Becoming a positive trend, the JBU bench clearly outplayed the Cavaliers, notching a 30-12 scoring advantage. Despite committing 10 turnovers, the visitors only allowed SGU four points as a result of its miscues.

With the win, the Golden Eagles move to 7-8 on the season and climb into the winning side of the Sooner Athletic Conference standings with a 2-1 conference record. After dropping its SAC opener to No. 9 Oklahoma City, John Brown has rattled off two consecutive road victories. The Cavaliers drop to 7-10 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

JBU's busy week will finally come to a close on Saturday, Jan. 12, when the Blue and Gold host No. 15 Rogers State (Okla.) (13-4, 3-0 SAC) at Bill George Arena to a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.