College of the Ozarks men’s basketball opened their season on the road with a tough loss to Midland University (Neb.) on Saturday evening, falling short by two points, 86-88.
The Bobcats opened up the game slowly, trailing by as many as nine points at the 15:46 mark of the first half. Five minutes later, however, CofO had warmed up and snagged the lead on a 3-pointer by junior guard Brandt Cochran. The Cats extended their lead to seven points with 4:56 remaining in the first half. The Warriors chipped away at the lead, and the two teams found themselves deadlocked at 47 to close the half.
Returning to the court for the second half, the Bobcats once again regained the lead and held a six-point advantage mid-way through the half. Midland again fought back, tying the score at 67 with 7:59 to play. CofO remained in control until the 1:43 mark, when the Warriors' Luke Cadzow nabbed a steal and put up a trey to take the lead, 84-83. Bobcat Treydon Rackley responded with a three-pointer to put the Bobcats ahead by two, but Midland’s Reggie Gradwell drained his fifth trey of the night with 29 seconds remaining for an 87-86 lead, and the Warriors held on to pick up the 88-86 win.
The Warriors put down 15 three-pointers in the game, with Gradwell and Cadzow scoring five apiece and Bowen Sandquist adding four.
College of the Ozarks was led by senior Ethan Davidson, who scored 21 points, brought down 8 rebounds, and blocked two shots. Calvin Allen (12 pts.) nabbed two steals and handed off four assists. Brandt Cochran scored 20 points, including four three-pointers, and Treydon Rackley scored 15, with three treys. The Bobcats were impressive from the free-throw line, hitting 23-of-25 (92%).
The Bobcats will look to come back and even their record in Monday’s home opener, as they face the Tabor College Bluejays (Kan.) at 7:30 p.m.