College of the Ozarks Bobcats fell to Oklahoma Wesleyan University on the road Thursday night, 77-99.
OKWU, who was ranked #6 in the NAIA DII Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll, came out with a hot hand to post a 50-36 lead at half-time over the Bobcats, shooting 47.5% and hitting nine three pointers. The Bobcats shot 36.6%, with five treys. Bobcat Heath Carmichael led the team with 8 points, and Brandt Cochran collected 5 rebounds.
The Bobcats improved their shooting in the second half to 47.1%, but unfortunately, OKWU did not cool off over the break. The Eagles improved as well, hitting 20-35 (57.1%), including 9 additional threes. After posting only one turnover in the first half, CofO turned the ball over ten times in the second half, further adding to their struggle in overcoming the 14-point first-half deficit.
On a positive note for the Bobcats, freshman Klay Barton put up 15 points, adding 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Cochran scored 13, with a team-leading 6 rebounds, and Ethan Davidson tallied 12 points. Rounding out the team of double-digit scorers were Carmichael and Treydon Rackley with 10 points apiece.
The Bobcats, now 1-2, will look to get back in the win column on Saturday, as they face Randall University (Okla.) at 3:15 p.m. in the Keeter Gymnasium on the College's campus.