The John Brown University Golden Eagles withstood 26 points from Kourtni Williams to slip by the Mid-America Christian University Lady Evangels in a Sooner Athletic Conference matchup Thursday evening (Feb. 21) inside the Gaulke Activity Center.
After trailing by 11 early in the first half, the Lady Evangels battled back to take their first lead of the game on a bucket by Williams that made it 31-30 at the 14:38 mark of the second half.
Kelsie Dutton then hit a three to put the Lady Evangels up two and MACU went on to lead by four twice, with the last coming at 46-42 with 3:26 remaining.
But the Golden Eagles took over from there as a score from Kortni Barenberg and six free throws by Anna Parish keyed an 8-1 push that gave JBU a three-point lead with just 28 seconds left.
A jumper by Williams brought the Lady Evangels to within one, but the Golden Eagles closed out the win by sinking four straight freebies over the final 15 seconds.
The Lady Evangels fell into an early hole as Lauren Rodgers and Kami Garrison each hit a three and combined to score the game's first 11 points over the first five minutes of the contest.
Dutton got the Lady Evangels on the board with a steal and a layup that fueled an 11-2 spurt that Sarah Martin capped with a three that made it 13-11.
Williams then converted a three-point play that brought the Lady Evangels to within a point at 15-14 at the 7:16 mark of the first half.
MACU got within one on two more occasions in the opening half, but two free throws by Parish and a three from Abbey Warren gave the Golden Eagles a 25-20 lead at the break.
Williams' 26 points led all scorers and she also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Dutton added eight points and seven boards, with Parris Price dishing out a game-high six assists.
Parish's double-double of 16 points and 10 boards paced the Golden Eagles and Sierra Shipley chipped in with 11 points.
The Lady Evangels will wrap up the regular season Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23) at St. Gregory's University. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. in Shawnee, Okla.
The matchup with SGU will determine the seventh seed in next week's Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament. The loser will fall to the eighth spot and face USAO in the first round of the tourney on Wednesday (Feb. 27).