The Ottawa University men’s basketball team has been through a frustrating season for the most part.
The Braves have been inconsistent. Ottawa opened the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 3-1 mark, but ran into some tough luck the rest of the way.
Ottawa finished in seventh place with a 6-12 KCAC mark after Saturday’s 84-64 loss to Friends in Wilson Field House. Ottawa plays 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hillsboro against second-seeded Tabor in the first round of the KCAC Tournament.
Ottawa has been in this position before, upsetting No. 3 seeded Sterling last year.
The Braves will need to regroup and put together a solid game against the Bluejays. Ottawa ended the regular season on a down note.
“It was one of our most disappointing efforts in the last couple of weeks,” Ottawa coach Andy Carrier said. “They got some good looks. We turned the ball over 24 times. Friends was the better team.
“They shared the ball. They found open people. We tried to make great plays in transition. We tried to make hard plays. We turned it over and that led to easy baskets for them.”
Friends found open spaces, especially behind the three-point line where the Falcons hit 17 of 37.
“They got easier shots than we did,” Carrier said. “We shot harder shots. We don’t always do the little team things that really good basketball teams do.
“Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. It is pretty frustrating for everybody.
“They know how we want them to play. They are capable of playing that way. When they have played that way they have had success. They could not do it consistently.”
Adam Hasty found his shooting touch. He hit five treys en route to a team-best 17 points.
“Good to see him back,” Carrier said. “He looked like the old Adam. He had a little bounce back in his step.”
Carrier wished the seniors had a better fate in their final home game of their careers. Seniors Chase Dippel, Corey Smith, Stephen Feighny, Matt Wilbers and Andrew Gutschenritter were honored before the game.
Wilbers received his first start of the season and finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
“He is the best teammate,” Carrier said of Wilbers. “He has taken advantage of his opportunities. He has had some good minutes. He is all about team.
“He made a huge contribution to our program and really been a role model for the other guys in how to be a good teammate.”
Gutschenritter was a program player for the Braves.
“It is pretty special in this day and age for a kid to come for four years and play junior varsity,” Carrier said. “That is a dying breed of a young man.
“He got value out of it. We got value out of it by having him in our program. Hopefully he can get into med school.”
Feighny, who had seven points and seven rebounds in his home finale, played two years for the Braves.
“What a special young man,” Carrier said. “He tries too hard sometimes. He always wants to do the right thing.”
Smith and Dippel were four-year players and left their marks in the school record books.
“They are who we built this thing around,” Carrier said. “They have had some great moments. They have been more snakebitten than any group. We have more last-second shots and tough situations in the past two or three years than I have had in my career.
“They have represented our school well. They deserved more team success than they did. They will be highly successful.”
Friends (84) — Rausch 14, White 8, Nelson 11, Bland 20, Johnson 10, Mitchell 10, Wilson 5, Simmonds 3, Williams 3.
Ottawa (64) — Feighny 7, Smith 7, Wilbers 9, Dippel 8, Lindsay 5, Hasty 17, Falk 2, Rose 5, Regier 4.