College of the Ozarks picked up a big win on the road Saturday evening, as they defeated Haskell Indian Nations University by a score of 74-63.
Haskell opened up the game with a 5-2 lead, but the Bobcats tied the game at 5 and then took a five-point lead of their own. The two teams battled closely, but the Cats would not relinquish their advantage throughout the first half, heading to the locker room with a 35-30 lead. For the half, CofO shot 41% from the field compared to 38.7% for Haskell. The Cats were able to hit five three-pointers, while Haskell netted three. Ethan Davidson led all scorers by tallying 14 points in the half, and Haskell’s Bryon Elledge led his team with 8 points.
Returning to the court for the second half, the Bobcats stretched their lead to eight points, but the Indians rallied with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 40. The two teams traded a few baskets before CofO went on a 9-2 run to post a nine-point advantage at 53-44 with nine minutes to play. The Indians pulled to within six points with 2:44 to play and were at the line shooting two with a chance to pull within four. Both shots were missed by the Indians and quickly followed by Bobcats’ Heath Carmichael and Ethan Davidson each netting a three-pointer to give the Cats a 12-point advantage. Shortly thereafter, the Bobcats closed out the game with a 74-63 victory.
Davidson recorded a game-leading 30 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. Storm Price dished a game-leading two steals and a game-tying 4 assists. Also scoring in double figures for the Cats were Treydon Rackley with 13 and Carmichael with 11. The Cats shot 48.3% in the second half, going 5-11 from beyond the arc. Haskell shot 46.4% in the second half and made just 40% of their ten free throws. CofO held the rebounding advantage 39-35 and turned the ball over eight times versus ten by the Indians.
“Haskell always plays us tough,” stated Bobcat Head Coach Steve Shepherd, “especially on their home court. I was very proud of our team’s performance. We went into the game with the goal of being more patient in our shooting, and the guys did a good job. They played extremely well defensively and also did a great job handling the ball, turning it over only eight times. ”
The win takes the Bobcats’ season record to 16-7. They will continue their stretch of road games by traveling to New Mexico next weekend for two games against A.I.I. opponent Northern New Mexico College.