It was a “silent night” at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Athletic Complex on Thursday. That is, until the 12th point was scored by the Bobcats against Mid America Christian University (MACU) – then the crowd broke loose in cheers, chants and applause! The first half included eight lead changes before the teams headed into half time with MACU ahead 46-45.
The Bobcats played MACU in early November in Oklahoma City and fell 99-85 to the Evangels. However, Thursday night, the Bobcats played a much tougher game. The Evangels opened the second half by grabbing the first basket, but the Bobcats continued to battle, and the lead changed hands multiple times. With only 3.9 seconds remaining in the second half and College of the Ozarks down by one, MACU’s Reggie Davis was unable to successfully bring the ball inbounds. Shortly thereafter, the Bobcats’ 6’5” forward Pete Leonard was fouled under the basket. He made one of two free throws, and the game headed into overtime tied at 98. Overtime was a continuation of the closely fought game, and MACU’s two 3-pointers during that period gave the Bobcats some trouble. However, the Bobcats hung on to win by a score of 111-109.
Fouls and free-throw shooting played a huge role in the game, as MACU tallied 40 personal fouls with an 83% free-throw shooting percentage against the Bobcats’ 24 fouls and free-throw percentage of 71%. While MACU was carried by the scoring of Farris (27), Mergerson (24) and Lewis (22), along with a double-double by Minner (11 pts, 11 rebounds), the Bobcats full-team effort included six players scoring in double digits (Daniels-18, Santiago-17, Selby-15, Paschke-14, Young-12, and Simniok-11). This big win brings the Bobcats’ record to 9-3 on the season. The Bobcats will have some time off for the holidays before heading to Arkansas to play Lyon College on December 30th.