College of the Ozarks Bobcats took the court in an exhibition game on Saturday afternoon against College of Faith Warriors from West Memphis, Arkansas, where the Bobcats posted a 96-82 victory. Warriors’ coach, Daniel Bandy, returned to the court for the first time since playing for the Bobcats during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons and capturing the MCAC Player of the Year Award.
The Bobcats had a slow start to open the first half, but senior guard Alex Santiago garnered 10 points and 3 steals, aided by a team shooting percentage of 50%, to take the Bobcats into the locker room with 45-39 lead. The Warriors first half was led by Mike Campbell and CJ Maclin who posted 10 points apiece.
The Bobcats scored nine unanswered points to open the second half and take a 54-39 lead. The ‘Cats held a double digit lead through most of the second half, with the Warriors drawing within 5 at the 9:23 mark (69-64). While the Bobcats hit only 2 of 9 three-pointers in the first half, they went 4 for 6 in the second half, thanks to three treys by Derek Daniels, and boasted a 61% field goal and 67% three-point shooting percentage.
The Bobcats’ scoring was well distributed, as they closed the game with five players in double digits. Sophomore guard Cameron Paschke led the Bobcats with 19 points (8 assists), while Derek Daniels (16 pts, 10 rebounds) and Joe Young (14 pts., 10 rebounds, 3 steals) picked up the double-doubles. Adding to the scoring were Alex Santiago with 15 pts (7 assists, 4 steals) and Pete Leonard with 14 pts (7 rebounds).
Leading all scorers was the Warriors Mike Campbell with 26 points and 11 rebounds, going 12 of 19 from the floor.
The Bobcats will head out of town for conference play this coming weekend as they take on Haskell University and Oklahoma Wesleyan. The Bobcats are officially 11-3 on the season (since exhibition game scores and stats are not counted) and currently ranked #15 in the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball National Coaches Poll.