College of the Ozarks Bobcats picked up a big 104-94 victory on the road Saturday afternoon, as they handed NAIA DI Mid-America Christian University (Okla.) their first loss of the season.
The Bobcats once again came into the game with a hot hand. MACU scored the first two points of the game, but the Bobcats went on a 16-4 run to take a 16-6 lead at the 12:41 mark. With 8:23 to play in the first half, the Bobcats held a 13-point lead before the Evangels responded and pulled to within three points with 2:20 remaining. CofO made and 11-2 run to close out the first half with a 52-40 lead. Bobcat junior Brandt Cochran tallied 18 points in the half, draining four three-pointers. The Cats shot 53% from the field, 60% from the three-point line, and were a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe.
In the second half, the Cats were up 63-50 in the first five minutes of play, but less than 6 minutes later, the Evangels had posted a 23-10 run to knot up the game at 73. The two teams battled over the next five minutes, finding themselves tied again at 86, before the Cats posted eight quick points to take a 94-86 advantage. Over the final 32 seconds of the game, the Evangels resorted to fouling the Cats in hopes of narrowing the gap, but the Bobcats went 8-8 in the final seconds to take the victory.
For the game, CofO went 34 of 62 from the field (54.8%), including 14 of 22 from beyond the three-point arc. The Bobcats were led by Cochran who posted a career-high 40 points, going 13-18 from the field, 6 of 8 in three-pointers, and 8-8 from the free throw line. Cochran was followed by Ethan Davidson with 28 points and a game-leading nine rebounds, Freshman Klay Barton completed the trio of double-figure scorers with 14. Treydon Rackley and Heath Carmichael each handed off five assists for the Bobcats.
The Cats improve their record to 5-3 on the season, as MACU moves to 4-1. The Bobcats will enjoy a Thanksgiving break before hosting NAIA DI John Brown University (4-1) on Monday evening, November 26th, at 7:30 p.m.