With under four minutes to go, Life guard Greg Thomas stole the ball and started to go in for a game-tying layup. But then John Brown took the ball right back. It was that kind of game for the Life Running Eagles.
Abel Galliguez’s steal in transition was a defining moment in the men’s basketball team’s first round victory over Life University.
No. 4 John Brown held off Life and avoided a upset, winning 68-66 to advance to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. The men’s team will face No. 13 Georgetown (Ky) tomorrow at 12:30.
In their first round match-up with the unranked Life University, the Golden Eagles looked good early. Life University ranked first in the nation in steals, but the Golden Eagles were able to break through Life’s press defense. JBU had 19 turnovers, but Life had 17.
The Eagles took a 10-point lead at halftime, pushing their lead to 13 points early in the second half. But then Life went on an 11-0 run halfway through the second half to tie the Eagles 52-52 with 8:26 left.
Senior EJ McWoods then put the Golden Eagles up and they held the lead until the Running Eagles took a 66-65 lead with 1:22 remaining. John Brown then tied the game with 1:07 left when freshman Kofi Josephs made one of two free throws.
Following a Life turnover and foul, McWoods made two free throws to put the Golden Eagles up for good with 36 seconds left. Life held for the last shot but LaTarrance Carter missed a potential game-winning three from the corner with a second left.
John Brown, who is 5-2 against ranked opponents, will now face No. 13 Georgetown (Ky) in the second round tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Students can watch the live broadcast in Walker Student Center.