College of the Ozarks and Evangel University men matched up Tuesday evening for the first time this season in Point Lookout, Mo. What looked to be a potential runaway by the College of the Ozarks Bobcats mid-way through the first half, became a second-half nail biter that resulted in a 75-74 Ozarks’ victory.
The Bobcats catapulted to an early 32-9 lead over the Crusaders, but Evangel chipped away throughout the latter part of the first half to draw within 10 at the 4:26 mark. The Crusaders continued to close the gap to three points, as the Bobcats took a 42-39 lead into the locker room.
The second half was much more tightly matched, as the two teams battled for an edge. Evangel tied the score at 42 with a 3-pointer by Luke Call on their first possession of the second half, and there were seven more ties, with the final one coming at the 8:54 mark. With the score tied at 58, Evangel took the lead, as Luke Call hit another three-pointer for the Crusaders. At the 42-second mark, College of the Ozarks held a 7 point lead, but once again it slipped away to a one-point advantage. With less than 2 seconds remaining on the clock, Evangel in-bounded the ball, but the Crusaders’ final shot was waved off by the official, giving the Bobcats the win.
College of the Ozarks was led by junior Ethan Davidson with 16 points. Davidson came up big for the Cats in the second half, with a key assist and several well-timed baskets. Freshman Calvin Allen also had a solid night, tallying 15 points and dishing 4 assists, as did sophomore Brandt Cochran, who scored 13--including 3 treys, grabbed 2 steals, and collected a team-leading 7 rebounds. Closing out the double-digit scorers for C of O was freshman Treydon Rackley, who put up 11 additional points.
The Crusaders were led by Justin Washington with 22 points and 17 rebounds. He was aided by Braden Adams with 18 points and Chandler Lyon added 14 points and a game-leading 3 steals.
The Bobcats, who are now 4-1, will head on the road this weekend to play Lyon College, another NAIA DI opponent, on Saturday afternoon in Batesville, Arkansas.