College of the Ozarks Bobcats traveled north to Springfield Thursday evening for a 7:30 p.m. game against Evangel University. The Crusaders avenged their earlier loss to the Bobcats, as they defeated C of O, 81-59,
The Bobcats and Crusaders were tied at 9 points apiece four minutes into the contest before Evangel went on a run to take a 19-11 advantage. The Bobcats battled back, sparked by Brandt Cochran and Klay Barton three pointers, alongside two baskets and a trey by Andrew Mitchell, to pull within one point at 27-28 with just over two minutes remaining in the half. However, six unanswered points by Evangel to close out the period found the Cats trailing 27-34 at the break.
Second-half action saw the Bobcats score first to draw within five points, but Evangel pushed the lead to double figures at the 15:50 mark and never allowed the Bobcats to move back to a single-digit margin.
Turnovers and missed shots plagued the Cats. C of O tallied 18 turnovers to Evangel's 6 and shot 33.8% from the field compared to the Crusaders' 50.8%.
The Bobcats were led by Brandt Cochran with 21 points and 5 assists; Ayden Stone with 13 rebounds and 2 steals, as well as 11 points to collect another double-double; and Treydon Rackley with one block.
The Bobcats’ record dips below .500 to 5-6. They will have a break in action before heading to Bellevue, Neb. for games on Dec. 29-30.