College of the Ozarks Bobcats traveled to Lincoln, Ill. this weekend to play in the Lincoln College Classic. Despite solid first-half performances, the Bobcats fell to both Washington Adventist University and Lincoln College.
Day One of the Classic found the Bobcats facing off against NAIA DII No. 8 ranked Washington Adventist University. The Bobcats played tough against the Shock in the first half and headed to the locker room trailing by six points, 41-47.
The second half found the Shock hitting their groove early, quickly outscoring the Bobcats 15-6 in the first five minutes. Washington Adventist extended their lead to 20 at the midway point and closed out the game, 108-77.
On the night, Washington Adventist shot 52.1% from the field, 55% from beyond the arc; the Bobcats shot 42.4% from the field and 35.7% from downtown. WAU out-rebounded the Cats 47-29, turning the ball over 10 times versus 15 by C of O.
The Bobcats were led by senior Brandt Cochran with 29 points, who went 8-18 from the field, hitting 7 of 13 three-pointers, and was a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line. He also dished a team-leading five assists. Joining Cochran in double-digit scoring were Treydon Rackley with 11 points (5-7 FG), and Klay Barton with 10 points (4-9 FG). Ayden Stone led the rebounding efforts with six, followed by four from Andrew Mitchell. Rackley led the team with three steals.
In Day Two, the Bobcats took on the host Lincoln College Lynx. The Bobcats opened the game by jumping out to a quick 14-5 lead, with Cochran and Barton hitting a couple baskets apiece and Mitchell draining a trey. The Lynx responded with a 14-point run to take a five-point lead, which they would extend to as many as eight before the Cats rallied to tie the game at 36 with just under two minutes in the half. The half closed with C of O trailing by one at 39-40. The Cats shot 17-28 (60%) from the field and Lincoln went 16-32 (50%). Stone and Barton led the Bobcats with 10 points apiece.
The second half would find the two teams battling back and forth, knotting up the score on six occasions in the first fifteen minutes of play. With 4:45 remaining, the Lynx took a two-point lead, which they would not relinquish. They scored seven unanswered points in the final two minutes to capture a 79-69 victory.
C of O shot the ball well overall at 51.9% (28-54), but foul trouble limited playing time and effectiveness for Cochran and Stone. Turnovers also cost the Bobcats, as the Cats gave the ball up 20 times versus nine by the Lynx. Lincoln’s Trayvon Tyler caused the most damage, racking up 30 points to lead all scorers on the night. The Bobcats had four players in double figures: Barton (14), Stone (13), Cochran (12), and McBride (10). Stone collected another double double with a game-high 12 rebounds, also contributing two blocks, Barton dished four assists, and Rackley nabbed two steals.
The Bobcats’ season record now stands at 12-10. Their next game will be played at home on Saturday, February 1, at 5:00 p.m. against Haskell Indian Nations University.