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Bobcats Outlast Patriots in Win

Jan 29, 2024

#1 Andrew Dalton

Point Lookout, MO - After a week-long break in the action for the College of the Ozarks Bobcats, they returned home for a Monday evening matchup with the Patriots of Mission University (formerly Baptist Bible College). With the largest crowd of the year on hand, Keeter Gymnasium was buzzing with energy and excitement. The student section was out in force and the Bobcat momentum was building before the ball was tossed in the air.

The Bobcats took the energy in the gym and added it to their own to jump out to an early lead. Jay Baxter opened the scoring, Andrew Dalton connected on a pair of free throws, and a Baxter dunk added to the energy in the building forcing an early Patriot timeout. A Garrett Snyder trey and jumper boosted the lead and a Dalton three was followed by another by Kyle Flavin. The Bobcats had opened a 17-5 lead, and the Patriots took another timeout with 13:44 left in the half. Garrett Snyder added fuel to the fire with a bucket out of the huddle and Caleb Faulkner connected from downtown to boost the gap to 22-8. The Patriots began finding some offense, but the Bobcats continued to attack. Snyder, Dalton, and Faulkner added to the total and Tyler Moore jumped in the scoring column with a free throw. With 10:11 left in the half, the Bobcat lead was up to 31-13. The Patriots were trying to find the answer, but the Bobcats continued to respond to their challenges. The tide slowly began to change at the 8:48 mark and the Patriots were chipping away at the lead. It seemed that the Bobcats were trading twos for Patriot threes and the lead was dwindling. A Kyle Flavin jam reenergized the crowd, but the Patriots were determined to battle back. With minutes ticking off the clock, the Patriots were closing the gap and the Bobcats needed to respond. Faulkner, Snyder, and Dalton scattered buckets for the Bobcats as the Patriots were chipping away. A Patriot jumper and a three cut the gap to 47-41 before a Tyler Moore basket broke the momentum. Three Patriot free throws later, the score was 49-44 and the buzzer sounded to send the game to intermission.

Things got interesting in a hurry as the Patriots opened the scoring in the second half and cut the lead to 49-48. Garrett Snyder answered for the Cats with a pair of free throws before a Jay Baxter dunk brought the crowd back to life. The teams began trading baskets and the Bobcats were fighting to hold the lead. Snyder, Baxter, and Dalton provided the needed responses and with 14:41 left to play, the Bobcats were clinging to a 61-58 advantage. A Patriot three followed a pair of Dalton free throws, and a Flavin three provided the Bobcat answer. A Faulkner three gave the Cats a 71-61 cushion and a little breathing room. The Patriots kept challenging; the Bobcats continued to answer. Seth Soden splashed home a three to build the lead to 76-63 and with 11:12 showing on the clock, the Patriots needed a timeout. The visitors scored out of the huddle, but Kyle Flavin answered with a three and a quick two. The defense for both teams stepped up and neither team would score until Flavin nailed a jumper at the 6:52 mark. Scoring nine straight points, Flavin maintained the Bobcat lead and held the Patriots at bay. With the three-point shooters in the Patriot arsenal, they were not ready to concede and with 4:45 remaining, a three increased the momentum for the visitors. A Dalton jumper and a pair of free throws put the Bobcats up 91-79 with 2:35 left to play. There was a definite feel that the game was far from over. The Patriots continued to apply full court pressure and the Bobcats needed to control the ball. A Patriot basket and a pair of free throws cut the lead to 91-83 and two minutes seemed like an eternity. A Garrett Snyder free throw was added to a Dalton layup and the lead was boosted again. The Patriots were relying on pressure defense and shots beyond the arc to dig into the Bobcat lead, while the Bobcats were focused on running down the clock. Free throws would be key down the stretch and Moore, Flavin, and Dalton each connected on one as time was winding down. The Patriots continued to make it interesting with a pair of deep threes, but the Bobcats connected on a free throw by Andrew Dalton and a pair by Kyle Flavin to seal the 100-93 win.

Andrew Dalton logged a double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cats. Kyle Flavin and Garrett Snyder each poured in 22 points, and Caleb Faulkner contributed double figure scoring with 13 points. Jay Baxter chipped in eight points, Tyler Moore added four, and Seth Soden tacked on three in the win.

The Bobcats will return to action on Tuesday, February 6 when they host Ecclesia College at 7 PM.