Oklahoma Baptist lives to see another day in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament after a 56-48 first round upset over John Brown of the in the Noble Complex.
"We still have one more to go with Lubbock," said Head Coach Doug Tolin. "You can't enjoy the wins this time of the season because if you don't get ready for the next one there won't be another one."
OBU got two 17-point performances from senior Robert Hart and sophomore Justin Benson.
"The guys did a great job of getting Justin the ball in the right spots," said Tolin. "Robert just got his buckets in transition and from the line."
"Oh man I feel so good right now," said Hart. "I'm just glad that one's over. It was a grind it out type game, but we came out with the win."
Hart hit five clutch free throws down the stretch over the last three minutes to seal the deal for the Bison.
"I was just trying to hit them one at a time," Hart said. "There wasn't much going through my head, but 'make these free throws. '"
Hart was five-of-13 from the field and was six-for-eight from the free throw line. Benson was six-for-seven from the field and five-of-eight from the charity stripe. Frank Benson was the only other Bison in double figures with 10 points.
Reyjavick De Gracia scored 15 points for the Golden Eagles and notched a double double with 18 rebounds. Adam Workman and Alex Terry were the only JBU players in double figures with 10 points each.
The Bison locked down First Team All-SAC selection Brandon Cole holding him to six points.
"That started with Leonard," said Tolin. "He chased Cole around the whole game. He only had one little break in the first half and played the rest of the game. Our other guys did a great job helping when Cole got free."
The last two times OBU played John Brown, Cole scored 19 at OBU and 17 at Siloam Springs. Cole was only two-for-15 from the field with both buckets being three-pointers.
Both defenses forced an ugly offensive performance with neither team shooting above 40 percent. OBU shot 38.6 percent with shooting 17-for-44 from the field.
"I thought defense was the key for us," said Tolin. "We did a great job on their shooters. Offensively it was a struggle to get baskets, but we got just enough at the end and that's what it comes down to. It's going to be ugly when teams guard each other. That's what conference basketball is when you play a team two or three times each year. Everybody knows everything everyone else does."
OBU never led by more than eight and that was at the end of the game, but OBU got clutch free throws and baskets during the last few minutes. The Bison were 20-of-27 from free throw line.
"The last two or three minutes we made free throws and ran a couple sets and got some stops on the defensive end," said Tolin. "We finished out well."
The Bison held the Golden Eagles to 27.9 percent form the field.
OBU now plays Lubbock Christian Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Noble Complex.
The Bison split with the Chaparrals this year during the regular season.