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Bobcats Battle but Fall at William Woods

Oct 29, 2022

#30 Josh Linehan

The College of the Ozarks Bobcats traveled to William Woods University Saturday to take on the Owls in an afternoon matchup. The Bobcats competed and battled throughout the contest and came away with valuable experience that will continue to build success throughout the season.

The opening minutes of the game were a defensive battle as neither team could get the offense rolling. The Owls opened the scoring, but a Matt Luebbert jumper quickly knotted things up. The first five minutes saw very little offense for either team and a 7-4 Owl lead was the result. By the 13:09 mark, the Bobcats had used a pair of Josh Linehan baskets to tie it again, 8-8, and a Kyle Flavin deep three gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game. The Owls quickly responded with a three of their own to even the score and it appeared the game would continue as a back-and-forth affair. The Owls regained the lead at the 11:08 mark and the next two minutes were dominated by the defense for both teams. Neither team could find the basket until a Kyle Flavin layup tied the score at 13-13, with 8:50 left in the half. The teams traded points over the next few possessions and Xavier Oduor broke into the scoring column with a pair of free throws for the Bobcats. A Terry Gupton layup was followed by a Kyle Flavin three and the Bobcats held their biggest lead. An Owl three was answered by another Flavin trey and another by Josh Linehan. WWU took a timeout, trailing the Bobcats, 26-18. The strategy paid dividends as the Owls went on 7-0 run to end the half and the Bobcats clung to a 26-25 lead heading into the locker room.

The Owls put the first points on the board in the second half to regain the lead with a Grant Peters layup. The Bobcats responded with a Terry Gupton layup and the battle was on. Andrew Mitchell drained a three to put the Bobcats ahead 31-29 at the 17:01 mark but the Owls quickly answered. An inopportune cold spell ensued for the Bobcats and the Owls began to pull away. An 11-2 WWU run spelled trouble, and the Bobcats trailed 40-33 with 14:11 left in the game. The Bobcats continued to battle and by the 9:59 mark, a Josh Linehan three cut the deficit to 42-40. The Owls accepted the Bobcat challenge and turned up the defense once again. Another 7-0 Owl run widened the gap and the Bobcats needed to turn the tide. Unable to make up ground, the Bobcats traded baskets with the Owls and a Bobcat timeout was called with the score 55-45, in favor of the Owls. A quick three out of the huddle for William Woods increased the gap to 58-45 and another three put the Bobcats in a deep hole. Josh Linehan broke the Bobcat drought with a three at the 4:21 mark, but the damage had been done. The Bobcats continued to battle and a pair of Flavin free throws, another Linehan three, and a Cainen Mar layup cut the gap to nine, 64-55, as time expired.

The Bobcats were led by Josh Linehan’s 18 points. Kyle Flavin poured in 16, and Terry Gupton contributed eight points and nine rebounds. Cainen Mar, Seth Soden, and Andrew Mitchell each added three points, and Matt Luebbert and Xavier Oduor tacked on two apiece.

The Bobcats are back in action Tuesday as they travel to Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly and then at home on Saturday for the annual Homecoming game as they take on Hannibal-LaGrange University. Saturday’s game begins at 3:15 and is free to the public as we welcome back our C of O alumni.