Riding their momentum from a 96-55 drubbing of Randall University earlier in the week, the College of the Ozarks Bobcats went 2-0 in the Baptist Bible College Classic over the weekend. For their second and third consecutive wins, the Bobcats took down Southwestern Adventist University Friday afternoon, and turned in a repeat performance against Missouri Valley on Saturday.
C of O vs Southwest Adventist – Friday, November 18
With their 96-point outburst on Tuesday against Randall University, the Bobcats were looking to continue the trend into the weekend. Facing Southwestern Adventist University, a team that defeated the Bobcats 71-57 a year ago, the Bobcats were hoping to avenge that loss and continue on the winning track.
A slow start for the Bobcats had things questionable in the early going. Missing their first three field goal attempts, the Bobcats found themselves in an early 7-0 hole. A Matt Luebbert layup broke through for the Bobcats at the 17:41 mark and a Josh Linehan traditional three-point play cut the deficit to 7-5. Neither team was on fire offensively as defense ruled the opening minutes of the half. Andrew Mitchell pulled the Bobcats to within one, 10-9, with 13:34 remaining, but the Knights quickly responded. The Knights increased their lead with a bucket and a three and the Bobcats trailed 19-12 nearing the midway point of the half. The bobcat offense began to heat up and point by point, the gap was reduced. Josh Linehan nailed a three and a layup to team up with Andrew Mitchell connecting on a three and a jumper and the score was tied, 23-23 with 8:44 remaining. The teams would trade baskets, with the Knights holding a slim advantage. Terry Gupton drove the lane for a bucket at the 6:45 mark and the Bobcats took their first lead. The Bobcats continued to apply pressure and free throws by Cainen Mar, Matt Luebbert, and Josh Linehan capped an 11-0 Bobcat run, forcing a Knights timeout. Matt Luebbert drained a bucket out of the huddle and Josh Linehan connected from deep and Southwestern Adventist called another quick timeout. After the 16-0 run by the Bobcats, the Knights broke through with a basket at the 2:39 mark. The teams would trade baskets to close out the half, with an Andrew Mitchell three sending the Bobcats to the intermission with a 47-34 lead.
Linehan opened the second half scoring with a three and the Bobcats offense was rolling. Kyle Flavin drained a three and Linehan and Luebbert scored before the Knights could put points on the board. The Bobcat defense continued to hold, and the scoring was all C of O as the second half continued. Run after run sandwiched baskets for the Knights and the Bobcats were in control. A Terry Gupton three and Josh Linehan two capped a 14-0 Bobcat run and the Knights were reeling. A pair of Southwestern baskets cut the gap, but the Bobcat lead had grown to 71-39 with 9:48 remaining. The Knight’s offense began to find their way, but it was too little, too late and the Bobcats responded to every challenge. A pair of Garrett Simmerman layups were combined with a Cainen Mar basket and the Bobcats simply needed to run down the clock. Xavier Oduor, Gavin Davis, and Isaiah Mitchell rounded out the Bobcat scoring, and as time expired, the Cats had claimed an impressive 87-47 victory.
Josh Linehan led all scorers with 30 points and Andrew Mitchell followed with 17. Terry Gupton and Matt Luebbert each contributed 10 points while Kyle Flavin added five and Garrett Simmerman and Cainen Mar each tacked on four. Isaiah Mitchell chipped in three and Xavier Oduor and Gavin Davis added two each to the cause.
C of O vs Missouri Valley – Saturday, November 19
Riding their two-game winning streak, the Bobcats looked to keep things going as they faced Missouri Valley College on day two of the Baptist Bible College Classic.
Missouri Valley jumped out in front early with a three, but Terry Gupton answered to put the Bobcats on the board. The teams would trade jabs to a 5-5 tie before a pair of Josh Linehan free throws would give the Bobcats their first lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Vikings came charging back. The Battle was on and neither team could snatch the momentum. Ties and lead changes were the norm as Kyle Flavin and Andrew Mitchell drained threes to keep the score knotted at 18. A Terry Gupton layup put the Bobcats back on top at the 8:27 mark and a Mitchell three was combined with jumpers from Garrett Simmerman and Josh Linehan to build a 27-18 advantage. The 12-0 run gave the Bobcats the momentum as the half wound down. Missouri Valley battled back but the Bobcats responded to each challenge. A Terry Gupton three was combined with a two and three by Andrew Mitchell to close out the half, Bobcats leading 41-29.
The Vikings were determined to compete, and they opened the second half with an 8-2 run to prove it. A Mitchell three broke the Viking string at the 17:18 mark and the battle was on. Tanner Rogers continued the Bobcat assault with a three and points by Flavin and Gupton capped a quick 6-0 run. The Best the Vikings could do over the next several minutes, was to trade baskets with the Bobcats. Every challenge was met with Bobcat resistance and time became the enemy of the Vikings. A pair of Linehan free throws put the Cats ahead, 78-64 with just 2:15 remaining. The Vikings were unable to mount a comeback and a pair of Terry Gupton free throws iced the 82-71 Bobcat win as time expired.
Terry Gupton led all scorers with 21 points and three other Bobcats joined him in double figures. Kyle Flavin pourd in 15, Andrew Mitchell 14, and Josh Linehan 13. Matt Luebbert and Garrett Simmerman each dropped in six points, Tanner Rogers five, and Tanner Diaz added two.
The Bobcats are back in action Monday as they travel to Calvary University in Kansas City.