The College of the Ozarks Bobcats put up over 90 points and shot better than 50% from the field on back to back days to start 2022. Following a 90-69 trouncing of the Saints of Central Christian College of the Bible the night before, Haskell Indian Nations visited Keeter Gymnasium on Tuesday and the Bobcats unleashed again, winning 92-59.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead to start the game as Kyle Flavin set the tone. Scoring the first eight points with a pair of threes and a layup, Flavin and the Bobcats took control early and would not look back. Xavier Little Head put the Indians on the board at the 17:41 mark and Josh Linehan answered with is first two points of the game. Little Head hit a three to cut the lead to five, 10-5 but Garrett Simmerman responded with a three of his own. Haskell began to battle back and cut the Bobcat lead to one on a pair of Cordell King free throws. Defense dominated the next several minutes on both ends of the floor and the scoring was at a minimum. Andrew Mitchell provided a spark for the Bobcat offense with a pair of threes to build a 23-15 advantage with 8:26 remaining in the opening half. The teams traded baskets until Drew Vashon, Kyle Flavin, and Josh Linehan scored three straight baskets to put the Bobcats up 31-20. Andrew Mitchell capped the 9-2 run with another three and the Bobcat lead was up to 34-22. The defense for both teams stepped up once again and neither team would score again until a Josh Linehan free throw found the cotton at the 2:07 mark. A Bryan Strom three broke the drought for the Indians but Josh Linehan answered with a three of his own to maintain the Bobcat lead. Another Linehan basket was followed by a Garret Simmerman jumper in the paint and the Bobcats took a 42-25 advantage into the break.
Tanner Rogers broke the silence in the second half with a three and the Bobcats had the lead up to 20, 45-25. Rogers and Linehan joined the three parade and the lead continued to grow. Baskets by Rogers and Simmerman forced a Haskell timeout as the Bobcats had rattled off 13 unanswered points to start the half. Matthew Anderson broke through for the Indians with 17:03 remaining but the Bobcats were well in command. The Bobcats continued to apply pressure and a Blaine Cline jumper capped another 10-2 run to expand the lead to 65-31. Teal Soaring Eagle connected on a free throw and the Indians took another timeout to regroup. The damage was done, and the Bobcats just needed to maintain in order to hold off an Indian comeback. One of Tanner Diaz’ six assists on the game came at the 9:42 mark on a sharp pass to Matt Luebbert for two under the basket. A Cooper Long three with 5:41 remaining put the Bobcats back up by 30, 80-50, and the Bobcats had total control of the contest. The Indians tried to rally several times, but the Bobcats continually held them at bay. A pair of Tanner Diaz buckets rounded out the Bobcat scoring and finished off the 92-59 victory.
The Bobcats shot 55.1 % from the field and 56% from beyond the arc in the win. Josh Linehan led the way with 21 points for the Cats. Kyle Flavin’s 12 points and eight rebounds were mixed in with 12 points by Andrew Mitchell, nine by Garrett Simmerman, and eight by Tanner Rogers, Matt Luebbert, and Cooper Long. Drew Vachon chipped in six, and Blaine Cline and Tanner Diaz each added four to go along with Diaz’ six assists.
The Bobcats will hit the road this weekend for the Dallas Christian College Classic where they will face Dallas Christian at 8 PM Thursday, and Southwestern Adventist at 2 PM Friday.