College of the Ozarks Bobcats boosted their early-season record to 3-2 Tuesday evening, as they hit the road and defeated the Evangel University Crusaders by a score of 78-72.
The first half played at a steady pace, as the two teams battled for an edge. Both teams took a turn holding a six-point lead, only to lose it. The score was tied eight times in the half and ended with the two teams knotted at 36 points apiece. CofO hit 45% from the field, while Evangel scored on 43% of their field goals. Evangel pulled down 20 rebounds to 15 by the Bobcats.
CofO opened up with a seven-point lead five minutes into the half, but Evangel fought back to take a one-point lead with 12 minutes to play. Heath Carmichael promptly hit a trey to open up a twelve-point scoring run for the Cats. The Crusaders returned the favor, putting up a 10-2 run to bring them within three points of the lead with 3:53 remaining. That was as close as the Crusaders would come, however, as the Cats took home a big 78-72 victory.
Brandt Cochran and Ethan Davidson led the Bobcat scoring with 20 points each. Davidson added a game-high 10 rebounds to pick up his second consecutive double-double game. Klay Barton scored 10 points with a team-high 5 assists, Storm Price scored 10 points, and Heath Carmichael and Treydon Rackley each tallied nine points apiece. Carmichael and Rackley nabbed 4 and 3 steals respectively.
The Bobcats shot 48.1% from the field compared to 42.2% for the Crusaders. Evangel held the edge in rebounds, 33-30, and the Bobcats picked 10 steals against 7 by their opponent. Evangel tallied 21 fouls in the game versus nine by the Cats, and the Bobcats cashed in by hitting 18-of-22 free throws on the night.
The Bobcats will head back on the road this weekend to play in the Indiana University East Classic in Richmond, Ind. The Cats will not return to their home court until Monday, November 26, when they will take on John Brown University at 7:30 p.m. Games this weekend can be viewed online here.