C of O Teams Sweep Opening Games of Classic

From College of the Ozarks Sports Information

College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats defeat Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 89-44

The Lady Bobcats traveled to Bellevue University to play in the Holiday Classic this weekend.  Their first matchup was on Friday afternoon, where the Lady Cats soundly defeated the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Lady Eagles by a score of 89-44.

The first quarter found the teams relatively evenly matched, closing with the Lady Bobcats holding a 15-12 lead.  The next three quarters were a totally different story, as the Lady Cats outscored the Eagles 24-9, 23-13, and 27-19 to capture a commanding victory.

The Lady Cats were led by junior guard Kelsie Cleeton, who tallied a team-high 14 points, 11 rebounds,  six assists, and six steals with only one turnover.  Cass Johnson and Abby Oliver each added 13 points, while Lakin Simmerman and Aleskei Smith contributed 11 points apiece.  Also noteworthy on the afternoon were eight rebounds for both Simmerman and Madi Brethower, as well as four steals by Smith.

As a team, the Lady Bobcats outrebounded OKWU 48-33, and turned the ball over nine fewer times than the Eagles (12-21).  College of the Ozarks shot 44.3% (31-70) from the field and 45.2% in three-pointers (14-31); OKWU was held to 28.2% (17-57) from the field and 23.1%  (3-13) from beyond the three-point line.

The win takes the NAIA DII #4 Lady Bobcats’ season record to 14-1, while Oklahoma Wesleyan drops to 12-3.  The Lady Cats will face host Bellevue University in day two of the classic on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

College of the Ozarks Bobcats defeat Midland University, 81-76

College of the Ozarks Bobcats collected their tenth win of the season, as they defeated the Midland University Warriors by a score of 81-76 on Friday evening in the Bellevue Holiday Classic.

After spending most of the first half trading the lead, the Bobcats took a two-point lead on two made free throws by Deric Jones with 2:40 remaining and then stretched their lead to a six-point advantage at the close of the first half, 37-31.  The second half, however, found Midland put some pressure on the Cats, as they pulled to within one point of the Cats (41-42) at the 16:47 mark and took a 45-44 lead with 15:33 remaining.  Over the next several minutes, the Cats responded with a  26-11 run,  taking a 14-point advantage.  The Warriors took their turn posting a run of their own to close the gap at four, 76-80, with 45 second remaining, but CofO held strong in the closing seconds to secure the win.

Ethan Davidson once again led the Bobcats in scoring, putting up 22 points, going 10-17 from the field.  Heath Carmichael, Canyon Smith, and Brandt Cochran each scored 11 points, and DeMon Hyler also tallied double digits with 10 points.  Carmichael and Cochran grabbed seven and six rebounds respectively, and Calvin Allen dished a team-leading six assists.

The Cats shot 51.5% (34-66) from the field and were 46.7% (7-15) in treys, while Midland shot 45% from the field and 28% from the three-point line.

Friday’s win takes the Bobcats’ record to 10-4 on the season.  They will face Bellevue University on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in day two of the classic.

Both the Bobcats and Lady Cats will return home following Saturday’s games to host the McDonalds CAM JAM Classic on January 2 and 3 in the Keeter Athletic Complex.  Games will be held at 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m. each day, with the Lady Cats playing at 5 p.m. and the Bobcats playing at 7 p.m. each day.  Admission will be 5 canned goods to be donated to Christian Action Ministries, or $5 for adults and $3 for children.