College of the Ozarks men’s basketball picked up a key win in their final home game of the season, defeating Lincoln Christian University, 85-68.
It was senior night for the Bobcats, and prior to game time, Ethan Davidson, Heath Carmichael, Ben Cody, and Jake Sowell were recognized for their contributions to the team. Davidson and Carmichael have both been instrumental to the Cats’ success, having been significant contributors from fie first day they stepped on the court as freshmen.
Also recognized prior to the start of the game was junior Brandt Cochran, who last week scored his 1,000th career point in a game against Haskell Indian Nations University.
The Bobcats and Lynx, both members of the Association of Independent Institutions, were eager to capture a win before heading into next week’s A.I.I. Conference Championship tournament, which will be hosted by Lincoln College in Lincoln, Ill. The Bobcats, in particular, were looking to avenge a three-point loss to LCU in their last meeting.
The Bobcats trailed by as many as eight points early in the first half before they came back to tie the game at 18 points apiece. The Cats proceeded to take the lead on a three-pointer by Carmichael, retaining the lead through the end of the first half to post a 42-37 lead. The Bobcats shot an impressive 50% from the field, hitting 17-34 field goals, including six three-pointers. Davidson led all scorers with 13 points. The Lynx also were productive from the field, shooting 46.7%. Both teams pulled down 17 rebounds. LCU turned the ball over seven times versus four by CofO.
The Lynx opened up the second half with a basket to pull within three points, but the Cats made a 22-9 run to extend their lead to 16 points, 64-48, at the midway point of the second half. LCU responded with a run of their own to pull within 12 points before the Cats hit back-to-back treys by Carmichael and Storm Price. Again, the Lynx fought back to draw within 11 points at 76-65 with just under three minutes to play, but LCU could not overcome the gap. The Bobcats closed out the game with an 85-68 victory to collect their 20thwin of the season.
Ethan Davidson, who has been the Bobcats’ scoring leader throughout the season. led all players with 27 points. Carmichael and Cochran also scored in double figures with 22 and 18 points respectively. Carmichael put up six treys for the Cats, while also posting the game highs in assists (5) and steals (3). Cochran and Davidson topped the charts with seven rebounds apiece. The Bobcats outrebounded the Lynx 39-33 and shot 47.6% from the field.
The Bobcats’ record now stands at 20-9 on the season. They will head to Lincoln, Ill. next weekend to vie for the conference championship.