C of O Sweeps Basketball Games Tuesday

    Tanner Rogers photo courtesy College of the Ozarks Sports Information

    The College of the Ozarks Basketball teams post wins on Tuesday night at the Keeter Athletic Complex.

    The Lady Bobcats grabbed a 63-49 win over MidAmerica Nazarene to move their record to 6-2 for the season while the Bobcats won their second game of the season posting a 96-55 victory of Randall University. 

    Complete details on both games are below from College of the Ozarks Sports Information:

    Lady Bobcats
    The Lady Pioneers of MidAmerica Nazarene University visited Keeter Gym and came out hot Tuesday night. Draining a couple of shots from beyond the arc to start the game, the Lady Cats needed to respond quickly. An Annie Noah fadeaway and traditional three-point play by Blythe Benefield supplied the answer and the battle was on. The teams traded points back and forth, and the score was tied 9-9, with 5:30 left to play in the first. A turnover forced by Kayley Frank and Blythe Benefield turned into a Kayley Frank two to break the tie. MANU’s Ariella Sargent answered with a three of her own and the lead went back to the Lady Pioneers. The Lady Cats kept their composure, putting together a Jordan Wersinger jumper and a couple Kayley Frank free throws to regain the lead 17-12 at the three-minute mark. The Pioneers answered with a couple threes, but the Lady Cats held a 19-18 advantage after the opening frame.  
    Kayley Frank quickly opened the scoring for the Lady Cats in the second quarter. The teams then traded possessions until the Pioneers hit their first basket of the quarter at the 8:20 mark. With the Lady Cats clinging to a 21-20 advantage, Annie Noah extended the lead and forced a Pioneer timeout. The pressure of the Lady Cat defense forced two turnovers soon after, but the Lady Pioneer defense answered back. Scoring stalled for both teams until Lady Pioneer Allison French broke the silence with a three – tying the score at 23 with 4:30 to go. The Lady Pioneers took the lead with a jumper, but Annie Noah served up a basket of her own to tie the score 25-25. Taylor Rush would give the Lady Cats a boost with a bucket, and a Kayley Frank two forced another MANU timeout. Neither team would score out of the timeout and halftime would see the Lady Cats leading, 31-27. 
    Just as she started off the second quarter, Kayley Frank started the scoring with a three-point play and two jumpers to boost the Lady Cat lead to 39-27. Jordan Wersinger drained a free throw to push the Lady Cats to 40-28 advantage. The teams traded jumpers and possessions until there was 2:00 to go, the Lady Cats up 44-32. A time out by MANU gave the Lady Cats a chance to put together a play and a Jordan Wersinger jumper greeted the Pioneers out of the huddle. The Lady Pioneers would not go away, and the quarter ended with the Lady Cats leading 46-36.
    Taylor Rush drained a three to open the fourth quarter but was MANU quickly answered with a three. In pure face off fashion, Rush responded with another three from the corner, forcing MANU into a timeout with the clock at 7:36 and the Lady Bobcats up 52-39. Out of the timeout, Annie Noah put four straight points on the board and the Lady Cats were in control. The teams traded points, with the Lady Pioneers challenging to get back in the contest but C of O answered each challenge to maintain the advantage. As time ran down, the Lady Cats held off any Pioneer comeback efforts and took the game, 63-49. 

    Kayley Frank led the efforts with a double-double with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Jordan Wersinger and Annie Noah followed suite with double-digit scoring, adding 11 and 12 respectively. Taylor Rush tacked on eight, Blythe Benefield five, and Stevi Jones two in contributing to the Lady Cat win. 

    The Lady Cats have a couple weeks off before heading to St. Louis to face Fontbonne University. 


    Winning the tip against Randall University, the Bobcats capitalized with two energy surging threes sandwiching a nice play in the paint by Matt Luebbert. Randall called an early timeout to try and break the Bobcat momentum. The strategy paid off for the Saints and they hit a three coming out of the huddle. Kyle Flavin hit his first of eight threes on the next possession however and the Bobcats were off to a good start. The Bobcats offset a Saints three with three buckets of their own to build a 17-9 lead, with 14 minutes left to play. The pace of the game continued from beyond the arc as the Saints cut the lead to 17-12. Tanner Rogers cut the momentum drawing a charge and Kyle Flavin followed with another trey. With 12 minutes left in the half, the Saints missed an opportunity from the charity stripe and Andrew Mitchell made them pay with a corner three – Bobcats up 23-12. Randall’s Niles Smith broke the Saint silence with a couple points from the free throw line, but Andrew Mitchell immediately answered from deep. Trailing by 12, the Saints kicked it out to Micah Moss who contributed another three and Mitchell responded again with yet another three. The Bobcats continued to hold the Saints at bay and led 29-19 with 6:21 to go. The Bobcats maintained control as the clock ran down. The Saints needed to regroup after a sixth three came from the hands of Flavin and a three by Niles Smith cut the Bobcat lead to 44-26 with 1:30 remaining. The Bobcats continued their defensive effort to finish out the half, and neither team would score, sending the Cats to the intermission leading by 18.

    Tanner Rogers sent a strong message to the saints as he opened the scoring in the second half with a pair of threes. Kyle Flavin added a three and a traditional three-point play and the Bobcats had extended their lead to 55-26 by the 17:30 mark. The Bobcats continued their attack and would not look back. Kyle Flavin connected with Tanner Rogers for his fourth three of the game and the Saints were reeling. A Terry Gupton layup and two free throws by Josh Linehan pushed the score to 64-28. The Saints ended their drought with two from the charity stripe by Dejuan Sims, but the Bobcats kept the pressure on with another Gupton layup. With 12:30 left to play, Gupton connected with Garrett Simmerman down low, and the Bobcats forced a Saints timeout with a commanding 38-point lead. The Saints came out of the huddle determined, with Niles Smith and Jared Huff connecting from beyond the arc. The offense of the Bobcats continued to shine however, as Gupton tossed a one-handed kick out pass to Mitchell for yet another three. The Saints continued to try slow the Bobcats, but a change of possession allowed another Mitchell three, his fifth of the game, and the onslaught continued. Jumpers by Cainen Mar and Xavier Oduor found the basket with 4:23 left in the game and all the Saints could manage was a few more buckets down the stretch. The Bobcats finished the night with a 96-55 win as both the offense and the defense were on display. 

    The scoring effort was led by Kyle Flavin’s 31 points. Andrew Mitchell, Tanner Rogers, and Josh Linehan all contributed double digits with 15, 12, and 10 respectively and Cainen Mar added seven points. Matt Luebbert tacked on six, Garrett Simmerman chipped in five, Terry Gupton added four, and Devin Carroll, Xavier Oduor, and Gavin Davis all contributed two. 

    The Bobcats are back in action this weekend in the Baptist Bible College Classic with games on Friday at 1 PM and Saturday at 2 PM in Springfield.


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