From MACU Sports Information
Siloam Springs, Ark. — In a matchup of the two top teams in the Sooner Athletic Conference, the No. 10-ranked John Brown University Golden Eagles used a red-hot performance from the perimeter in the second half to pull away for a 76-58 win over the Mid-America Christian University Evangels Saturday evening (Jan. 19) in Siloam Springs, Ark.
Following a nip-and-tuck first half that saw the Evangels grab a late 29-26 lead on a three by Reggie Davis and a free throw from Charlie Shorter at the 3:01 mark, the Golden Eagles took control with a 29-4 surge that bridged the final 41 seconds of the opening half and first eight minutes of the second.
The last five points of the first half gave JBU the momentum as Coleson Rakestraw tied the score with a three and then a MACU turnover led to a dunk by Max Hopfgartner that put the Golden Eagles in front 31-29 at the break.
After Camilo Valencia tied the score in the first 10 seconds of the second half, the Golden Eagles exploded for six threes, including three by Rakestraw that fueled a 22-2 run for a commanding 55-33 lead with 12:20 remaining.
The closest the Evangels could get from that point was 14 as a score by Josh Minner and a three from Valencia made it 59-45, but two free throws by EJ McWoods and a trey from Hopfgartner stretched the lead back to 19 and the Golden Eagles cruised from there.
Angelo Lewis shot 7-of-11 from the field to lead the Evangels (8-6, 3-2 SAC) with 15 points, while Shorter finished with 13. Valencia scored eight with a team-high four assists and Josh Smith grabbed a team-best five rebounds.
Hofpfgartner led four Golden Eagles in double-figures with 22 points along with a game-high 10 boards. Rakestraw added 14 and hit 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
After shooting only 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from three-point range in the opening half, the Golden Eagles warmed up to a 61.5 percent (8-of-13) clip in the second.
It was also a tale of two halves shooting for the Evangels, as MACU shot 46.2 percent (12-of-26) from the floor in the first half but was limited to only 34.5 percent (10-of-29) in the final 20 minutes.
The Evangels will try to get back on a winning note at Oklahoma City University on Tuesday night (Jan. 22) at 8 p.m.
Levi Convirs is the Sports Information Director at Mid-America Christian University.