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Late Scoring Drought Costly in Bobcat Loss

Dec 16, 2023

#21 Seth Soden

#25 Caleb Faulkner

Point Lookout, MO – Looking to avenge a 103-76 November loss to the Spartans of Missouri Baptist University, the College of the Ozarks Bobcats knew they would have to play well to close out the semester with a win.

A slow start spelled trouble for the Bobcats from the opening tip as the Spartans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. Brady Reynolds put the Bobcats on the board with 16:09 remaining in the half and the work was just beginning. The Spartans continued to build a lead and the Bobcat struggles continued. Caleb Faulkner scored back-to-back buckets, but MBU held an 18-6 advantage midway through the opening half. Faulkner and Jay Baxter added a pair of baskets to chip away at the lead and a Seth Soden three and Garrett Snyder two inched the Bobcats back into contention. With 8:06 left in the half, the Cats had cut the gap to 20-15. The Spartans continued to hold off the challenges of the home team and the Bobcats were unable to pull even. While the Bobcat defense was doing the job, the offensive struggles were difficult to overcome. Faulkner and Brady Reynolds scored to keep the Bobcats close, and a Kyle Flavin basket was followed by a Faulkner three-point play to get the cats to within six, 32-26. The Spartans answered with a deep three and a Jay Baxter free throw sent the game to the intermission with the Spartans leading 35-27.

With a much different scenario playing out compared to the first matchup between the two teams, the Bobcats were still within striking distance with 20 minutes to play. The Spartans opened the scoring in the second half and built a 38-27 lead before a Jay Baxter bucket cut the gap back to single digits. MBU answered and the race was on. A Caleb Faulkner three and then a two cut into the lead, and a Seth Soden three trimmed the gap to 41-37, with 15:21 to play. The Spartans continued to answer the challenges of the Bobcats, but full court pressure kept the visitors out of sync. The four-point deficit seemed to be the magic threshold that the Bobcats could not cross. With the score sitting at 45-41, six unanswered points propelled the Spartans back to a 10-point advantage with 10:43 left to play. Another three points to the visitors bumped the score again, before a Seth Soden three broke the string. Soden backed that one up with another from long range and the Bobcats were in business again. MBU answered with 7:24 left to play, but Tanner Rogers responded with a three to keep the deficit manageable, 57-50. A Caleb Faulkner three on the next possession pulled the Cats within four, 57-53 and the tension was mounting. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the lid went on the basket, and they would not score again until the final minute of the game. While the defense was holding their own, foul trouble ensued, and the offense went dry. The Spartans capitalized on the Bobcat drought and led 72-55 with time winding down. The Bobcats were in a good position until the cold shooting proved costly. A Kyle Flavin three capped the scoring as time ran down and the Spartans took the contest, 72-58.

Caleb Faulkner led the offensive attack with 21 points. Seth Soden followed with 14, Kyle Flavin chipped in seven, Jay Baxter added five, Brady Reynolds tacked on four, Garrett Snyder chipped in three, and Tanner Rogers and Corey Kemp each contributed two.

The Bobcats are now off until January 6 when they travel to conference foe, Crowley’s Ridge College, in Paragould, Arkansas.