College of the Ozarks took on Bethany College at the Tabor College Classic on Saturday. Like C of O, Bethany College (Kan.) tends to be a perimeter-oriented team. Unfortunately, the Swedes shot the ball better from the outside and defeated the Bobcats, 88-82.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with multiple lead changes. At one point, C of O built their largest lead of the game at nine points after a Klay Barton three-pointer. Bethany College quickly struck back with a steady 23-10 run in the last six minutes of the half to go into the break up four, 42-38.
For the half, the Bobcats shot just 10 of 31 from the field (32.3%) including 3 of 14 from distance (21.4%). Fortunately, Bethany College struggled from the outside in the first half as well, connecting on just 4 of 15 from the three-point line.
After halftime, a concerted effort by the Bobcats to enter the ball into the post resulted in Ayden Stone racking up five assists on kick-out jumpers for teammates. One of those assists found senior Brandt Cochran on the wing, three of his 24 points, to trim the Swede lead to just two points midway through the second half. Stone made his presence known on the boards as well, grabbing a game high 11 rebounds and scoring 12 points.
With just under 6 minutes to play, Bethany College went on a small run to extend their lead back to eight. Treydon Rackley went on a run of his own, including a sweet coast-to-coast layup to cut the Bethany lead back to three. Rackley led all scorers in the game with 25 points. Despite Rackley’s late effort, Bethany’s Justin Jones would sink 4 of 4 free throws late to ice the game.
College of the Ozarks did plenty offensively in the second half to win, shooting 53 percent from the field, but Bethany was right there to match them with four players finishing with 15 points or more.
Head Coach Steve Shepherd commented, “I have to give Bethany credit. Tonight, they were better than us. I was proud of our effort, we just didn’t get enough stops on defense to pull it out.”
For more detailed statistics, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y62xg6g7
With the loss, College of the Ozarks falls to 3-2 and Bethany College remained undefeated at 4-0. Up next for the Bobcats is the JBU Classic in Siloam Springs, Arkansas beginning November 15. The Bobcats will take on Bethel College (Ind.) on the first day, followed by the host John Brown the following day.