The College of the Ozarks men’s basketball team travelled to Bellevue, Nebraska to compete in the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bruin Classic on Monday. C of O opened the classic against the host school Bellevue. Both Bellevue and C of O shot the ball extremely well, however, the Bruins used 17 three-point makes to win, 91-82.
Bellevue Bruin Connor Dukes opened the game by connecting on his first three shots from distance to give the Bruins an early 16-9 lead. Bobcat Klay Barton answered right back with three triples of his own to trim the Bellevue lead to four points.
Bobcat Brandt Cochran helped the Bobcats keep pace, scoring 18 first half points on 7 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 5 from deep. As a team, the Bobcats shot 16 of 27 from the field (59.3%), including a blistering 7 for 11 (63.6%) from downtown. It is tough to imagine, but Bellevue was slightly better from distance, connecting on 11 of 17 (64.7%). Perhaps the first half difference was really among turnovers, as C of O lost that battle, 7-3. At halftime, Bellevue led 47-41.
To start the second half, Bellevue’s Connor Dukes again struck quickly with a pair of three-pointers, to lead the Bruins on a 12-2 run. The Bobcats turned to a heavy dose of post play from Freshman Trent McBride. After a few makes, McBride used a pick-and-pop play to nail his only three-point attempt of the game to finish tallying 12 of his 14 points in the second half alone. The outburst helped cut the Bruin lead to single digits.
Late in the second half, the Bobcats turned to Senior Brandt Cochran. A pair of steals by Treydon Rackley and Klay Barton on back-to-back possessions led to a pair of three-pointers for Cochran. Although the Bruin lead was trimmed to just five points with under a minute to play, the Bruins would seal the game with free throws, 91-82.
After 18 first half points, Cochran played every minute of the second half to add another 18 points to lead all scorers with 36. Cochran finished the game 14 for 21 from the field including 7 for 11 from outside-the-arc. Klay Barton finished with 17 points, two steals, and four rebounds. Ayden Stone chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
While each team slightly cooled down shooting in the second half, both teams managed to shoot above 50 percent. C of O shot 33 for 59 (55.9%) from the field and Bellevue countered with 33 for 61 (54.8%). The Bruins distanced themselves behind-the-arc, finishing the game at 17 for 31 (54.8%) compared to the Bobcats 11 for 23 (47.8%).
For more complete stats, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/scbmmuh
With the loss, C of O fell to 5-7 on the season and Bellevue improved to 10-5. The Bobcats return to action on day two of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bruin Classic on Tuesday against Midland University (Texas) at 5:00 PM.