Point Lookout, MO - Looking to get back in the win column, the College of the Ozarks Bobcats hosted the Warriors of Calvary University in Keeter Gymnasium Friday night. Having defeated the Warriors in an earlier meeting, the Bobcats were optimistic heading into the 7 PM contest.
Josh Linehan opened the scoring with a quick basket and the Bobcats took the early lead. A Warrior free throw cut the lead in half, but an Andrew Mitchell three set the early tone. Calvary came out aggressive and their intensity on defense made things difficult in the early going for the Cats. Linehan connected on another jumper and a Kyle Flavin three-point play bumped the lead to 10-3 and the Bobcat offense was rolling. Calvary struggled to find the basket and the Bobcats continued to apply pressure. Linehan and Garrett Simmerman added a pair of baskets and the Bobcats seemed to be in control. A Tanner Rogers three at the 9:24 mark increased the gap to 17-6 and the Bobcat defense was in lockdown mode on the Warriors. Matt Luebbert and Devin Carroll jumped into the scoring column as the half was winding down and the Bobcats continued to pull away. A Xavier Oduor basket and a Devin Carroll three rounded out the first half scoring and the Bobcats took a 38-14 advantage into the break.
The Warriors put the first point on the board in the second half with a free throw, but the Bobcats responded quickly with a Tanner Rogers three. Matt Luebbert and Andrew Mitchell followed with unanswered baskets and the Bobcats continued to dominate on both ends of the floor. The Warriors were able to add a trio of baskets, but another pair of Mitchell threes provided the answer to the challenges. A pair of Garrett Simmerman jumpers were followed by a Xavier Oduor free throw and a Cainen Marr basket, and the Bobcat lead grew to 58-32 with 9:53 remaining. The Warriors could only manage a sporadic basket from time to time as the Bobcats continued to extend their lead. Terry Gupton, in his first game back from an ankle injury, showed no signs of slowing down as he drove the lane for a pair of baskets, and the Bobcat lead was up to 69-35 at the 6:57 mark. Calvary continued battling and working hard but the Bobcat defense constantly kept them off balance. Controlling the defensive glass, the Bobcats held the Warriors to one contested shot and continued to attack the basket. Devin Carroll drained another three and Isaiah Mitchell broke into the scoring column as the clock was winding down. Gavin Davis and Xavier Oduor rounded out the scoring and the Bobcats held the ball when time expired. The Bobcat offensive outburst and defensive dominance secured the much needed 85-44 win.
Devin Carroll led all scorers with 17 points, with Garrett Simmerman and Andrew Mitchell scoring double figures as well with 15 and 11 respectively. Josh Linehan added eight, Tanner Rogers and Kyle Flavin each tacked on six, and Matt Luebbert and Terry Gupton each contributed five. Cainen Mar and Xavier Oduor added four each, while Gavin Davis and Isaiah Mitchel each chipped in two points.
The Bobcats return to action at home Saturday when they face Ecclesia College in the second game of a doubleheader with the Lady Cats.