C of O Splits Second Evangel Meetings

by: Dori Rapinchuk, C of O Sports Information

C of O Lady Bobcats:  68, Evangel Crusaders:  48

College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats traveled to Evangel University in Springfield Tuesday evening and collected their eleventh victory of the season, defeating the Crusaders 68-48.

Despite a number of good shots in the first two quarters that simply would not make their way into the basket, the Lady Cats outscored  Evangel 25-15 in the first quarter and 14-9 in the second quarter to take a 15-point advantage to the locker room at the half.  During the first two quarters, C of O shot 37.1% from the field, versus 28.9% by Evangel, and 90.9% from the free throw line.  Both teams hit only 25% of their three-point shots.  The Lady Cats turned the ball over only three times in the first half, while Evangel posted 9 turnovers.

The final two quarters provided some significant playing time for the Lady Bobcats’ bench.  College of the Ozarks stretched their lead to as many as 28 points at the 3:58 mark of the fourth quarter, before allowing eight closing points by the Crusaders.

For the game, College of the Ozarks outrebounded the Crusaders 47-35 and also nabbed eight steals.  The Cats’ solid ball-handling resulted in a total of only nine turnovers on the night as compared to 17 by Evangel.  The Lady Cat defenders held the Crusaders to 48 points and a 28.9 field goal percentage for the game.

Cass Johnson led the Bobcats with 18 points and was joined in double-digit scoring by Kelsie Cleeton and Lakin Simmerman, each with 10.  Cleeton collected yet another double-double to add to her stash, as she grabbed 14 rebounds alongside her 10 points.  Cleeton also  provided 4 steals and 3 assists while committing only one turnover.

Tuesday’s win takes the #4 NAIA DII Lady Bobcats’ record to 11-0, while Evangel falls to 1-8.   The Lady Cats will head back on the road Thursday to play NAIA DI Columbia College (6-3) in Columbia, Mo.

Evangel Crusaders: 77, C of O Bobcats: 62

It was a tough night for the #17 NAIA DII College of the Ozarks men’s basketball team, as their eight-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Evangel University with a 77-62 loss.

The first half was filled with excitement, as  the two teams exchanged the lead throughout the first 10 minutes.  With the score tied at 20, Evangel went on a run to take a 10-point lead.  The Cats responded with a streak of their own  drawing to within one point (34-33) before the Crusaders struck again to gain a 10-point advantage and eventually close the first half with an 8-point lead.

Ethan Davidson had a strong first half for the Bobcats, scoring 12 points, and Heath Carmichael pulled down 5 rebounds. Braden Adams and Justin Washington led Evangel’s scoring with 14 and 11 points respectively.  The duo also collected a total of 13 rebounds in the half.  Evangel shot and impressive 54.5%, and the Bobcats hit 40% of their field goals.

The second half found the Bobcats drawing to within 5 points with 16 minutes to play, but could not pull in front.  Evangel  extended their lead to as many as 18 points before  capturing a 15-point victory.

The Bobcats were led by Ethan Davidson with 18 points, followed by Calvin Allen with 12 points.  Heath Carmichael pulled down 10 rebounds, and Canyon Smith and Allen each provided two steals.  The Bobcats turned the ball over only eight times, but they could not get their shots to fall, shooting just 31.9% from the field and 16% from the three-point line.  Evangel, on the other hand, shot 49.2% from the field and hit 6 of 18 three-pointers.

Tuesday’s loss by College of the Ozarks takes the Bobcats’ record to 8-2, while the NAIA DI Evangel University Crusaders move to 3-8.  The Bobcats will play at home on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., facing off against Ecclesia College.