The Ottawa University men’s basketball team has size and players that can withstand the pounding inside.
Ottawa coach Andy Carrier was surprised Baker took it to the Braves physically Tuesday in Wilson Field House. Ottawa did not match that kind of play in a 73-61 loss.
“It was disappointing,” Carrier said. “They were the most physical team. We are a bigger. We executed early in the game and it looked good. We had the ball moving. They got physical with us and they took us out of our ability to execute.
“That is teachable. We will see other teams get physical with us now. We have to learn how to make back door plays ... be little stronger and little tougher.”
Jared Folks made Ottawa pay by hitting three treys en route to 17 points.
“We kind of slowed them down with the zone for a little bit,” Carrier said. “Folks was the big difference. He hit those threes against our zone.”
Ottawa finished with 18 turnovers, which turned into 24 points for Baker.
“We got soft with the ball and it led to easy transition baskets for them,” Carrier said. “We have been reducing turnovers the past five games.”
Baker in the second half found seams inside the Ottawa defense. The Wildcats shot 50 percent in the second half and 48 percent for the game.
“We got away from our game plan defensively,” Carrier said. “We could not keep them out of the paint. That is their strength. It is well-coached team. Give them credit.”
Ottawa fell behind by 11 in the first half, but closed within 33-27 at halftime.
“We got the game back under control,” Carrier said.
Ottawa was within four at 41-37 with 16 minutes remaining in the game. Baker hammered Ottawa with a 22-8 spurt to open a 63-45 lead with 10 minutes left.
“We are a little young when we go to the bench,” Carrier said. “When you are behind it is smaller margin for error. You try to keep your top guys out there. We could not get stops to get it down to a one or two possession game.”
Julian Rose paced Ottawa with 21 points. Alex Lundry had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kameron Lindsay netted 12.
Ottawa (4-5) plays 3 p.m. today at Missouri Southern.
Baker (73) — Carter 7, Wilson 10, Mills 3, Johnston 8, Fulks 17, Gray 5, Watson 4, Parker 10, Wilson 9.
Ottawa (61) — Falk 2, Lundry 13, Lindsay 12, Adam Hasty 4, Rose 21, Gant 3, Haase 4, Hatchett 2.