The College of the Ozarks Bobcats shot 56.7% from the field and outrebounded the Bacone Warriors 47-33 on their way to an 88-76 win on the road Tuesday night. Blaine Cline was 5-8 from the field, Josh Linehan was 7-9, Matt Luebbert 7-10 and Andrew Mitchell connected on 6-13 from three-point range to put all four Bobcats in double figures in the win.
The Bobcats got on the board first with an Andrew Mitchell three, but the Warriors quickly answered with a three of their own to start an 8-0 run and put the Bobcats down 8-3. A Pair of Josh Linehan free throws broke the ice for the Bobcats and Matt Luebbert tied the score with 15:40 left in the opening frame. Josh Linehan scored to put the Bobcats back on top and the race was on. An Andrew Mitchell three at the 12:22 mark capped a 14-5 Bobcat run and built a lead of 22-13. A Blaine Cline Jumper added to the lead and forced a Warrior timeout. The Bobcats continued to apply pressure and another 8-2 run led to another Bacone timeout with the Bobcats up 32-15 and 7:35 remaining. The Warriors came out of the huddle determined to whittle away at the lead. An 8-0 Warrior run cut the Bobcat lead to 32-23 before Josh Linehan drained another pair of free throws. The Warriors had now regrouped, and the Bobcats cooled off from the field resulting in another 8-2 streak by the home team with 2:50 remaining in the half. Andrew Mitchell drained another from long range to put the Bobcats back up eight, 39-31 and Matt Luebbert scored to extends the lead. The Warriors outscored the Bobcats 4-2 to close out the half and the Cats took a 43-35 advantage into the break.
Josh Linehan opened the scoring in the second half, but the Warriors quickly responded. A two and a three cut the Bobcat lead to five, 45-40 and the Bobcats needed an answer. Matt Luebbert responded with a pair of free throws and Andrew Mitchell connected from long range to extend the lead back to 10. An 8-2 Bobcat run followed and forced a Warrior timeout. Luebbert scored out of the huddle and the Bobcats were back in control, 60-42. The Warriors put two more on the board before Tanner Rogers and Tanner Diaz each scored to give the Bobcats their biggest lead, 64-44. In what had turned into a game of runs, it was the Warriors turn to sting point s together. Following a Blaine Cline jumper at the 11:18 mark, the Warriors scored 10 unanswered points to climb back into contention. Leading by 12, 70-58, the Bobcats were looking to pull away for the win. The Warriors however, had different plans. Four quick points cut into the lead, but another Mitchell trey followed by baskets by Cline and Linehan gave the Bobcats more breathing room. The warriors put together one last push, but the Bobcats held off the challenge to secure the 88-76 win.
Josh Linehan led all scorers with 24 points. Andrew Mitchell added 18 while Matt Luebbert recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Blaine Cline reached double figures with 10 points in the win. Tanner Rogers chipped in eight points, Kyle Flavin added five, Tanner Diaz contributed four, and Cooper Long tacked on two.
The Bobcats will be back in action Tuesday, February 8 when they host Arkansas Baptist College in a 7:30 PM start.