College of the Ozarks Men’s Basketball went on the road this past weekend to participate in the IU Northwest Classic hosted by Indiana UniversityNorthwest in Gary, Indiana.
The Bobcats found themselves in an intense battle for their opener Friday against Lincoln College. C of O went into halftime with a 33-32 advantage, partly due to some timely shooting by Heath Carmichael who went 3 for 4 from downtown. Carmichael also chipped in 7 first-half rebounds.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the second half with Lincoln and C of O exchanging the lead 19 times.
Down the stretch, Lincoln College guards Lejavius Johnson and Trayvon Tyler found their three-point stroke to combine for 6 second half three-pointers, sending the game into overtime.
After the game, Coach Shepherd reflected, “We need to be more consistent. I felt like we had too many turnovers at the worst times.” In the extra frame, the aforementioned turnovers plagued the Bobcats and gave Lincoln College a hard fought victory, 93-91.
Coach Shepherd continued, “I’m proud of our guys for battling the entire game. The guys hit some big shots to keep us in the game. Lincoln is a quality team and we gave them a battle.”
The Bobcats were led by Brandt Cochran’s 28 points. Heath Carmichael finished with 21 points and 11 boards. Ethan Davidson contributed 17 points to the Bobcats' effort.
On Saturday, C of O faced off with Indiana University Northwest (IUNW) for their final contest of the Classic. The Bobcats stumbled out of the gates to trail by 10 at halftime, 45-35.
IUNW opened the second half hot from the outside to extend their lead quickly to 15 at the 18-minute mark. However, the Bobcats battled back by forcing IUNW to miss some highly contested shots and cut the lead to just 4 with 10 minutes left to play. Unfortunately, a late surge of solid shooting for IUNW helped put the game away, 101-81.
Coach Shepherd remained upbeat after the game, “We played much better the second half. We played with more intensity. Although a loss is tough to take, we can learn from this game and be ready for the next one.”
Ethan Davidson led the way for the Bobcats with 32 points and 10 rebounds. Brandt Cochran finished the game with 28 points.
The Bobcats will return to Point Lookout to host the C of O Classic on January 18th and 19th, playing both their games at 7:00 PM.