College of the Ozarks men’s basketball played the Northern New Mexico College Eagles on the road Saturday for the second time in back-to-back days. Both the Bobcats and the Eagles started the day shooting hot from the field in the first half at 54% and 61% respectively. The back-and-forth first-half produced seven ties and 12 lead changes.
After being relatively bottled up the day before, C of O’s Ethan Davidson exploded for 25 first-half points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point territory. The Bobcats were able to extend their lead to as much as seven with just four minutes remaining. However, slick defense by Tyrique Weaver and Naquwan Soloman, who had three steals each in the first half, trimmed the C of O lead to just two points, 48-46.
Northern New Mexico opened the second half by spreading the ball around the three-point arc, cashing-in six times to extend their lead to as many as 13 midway through the half. The Bobcats countered with a pair of three-point makes by both Heath Carmichael and Brandt Cochran to claw back to within single digits. However, C of O turnovers stymied the comeback late, as the Bobcats lost the game’s turnover battle 14-7. The final score, Bobcats fall 92-87.
Northern New Mexico had five players reach double figures in a balanced scoring attack. Ethan Davidson finished with a game-high 39 points and 11 rebounds. Brandt Cochran added 18 points and Heath Carmichael contributed 13.
College of the Ozarks returns to action Tuesday, February 5, on the road at Crowley’s Ridge in Paragould (Ark.) at 7 PM.