HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Ottawa University men’s basketball team held its own against two of the top NAIA programs in back-to-back days.
The Braves lost Tuesday to No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan, 71-65, and fell 78-66 Wednesday to No. 1 Cardinal Stritch in the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ottawa opened the tournament with a 70-54 win Monday over Oneonta State.
The Braves gave both nationally-ranked squads a run before falling.
The Braves led Indiana Wesleyan 65-64 with three minutes remaining, but did not score again.
Cardinal Stritch went on a 10-0 run to break free from the Braves midway through the second half. That spurt gave Cardinal Stritch a 65-52 lead with less than seven minutes remaining.
Ottawa shot 38 percent against Cardinal Stritch and 45 percent versus Indiana Wesleyan.
Ottawa was dominated on the boards by Cardinal Stritch, 52-26.
The Braves kept pecking away at Indiana Wesleyan after falling behind 13-2 at the start of the game.
Ottawa pulled within a point at a 57-56 with nine minutes left.
The Braves took their first lead with 7:20 left on Chase Dippel’s trey, 61-59. Julian Rose scored to make it 63-59 with 6:23 left.
Adam Hasty paced the Braves with 16 points and three steals. Rose finished with 14 points. Kameron Lindsay had 10 points. Stephen Feighny snared 10 rebounds.
The Braves put a scare into the top-ranked squad. Ottawa jumped on top early 12-6 only to see Cardinal Stritch take a 40-36 halftime lead. Ottawa’s last lead was 23-21 with nine minutes left in the first half.
Ottawa stayed close to Cardinal Stritch in the second half. Ottawa was within four at 50-46.
The Braves clawed within 55-52 when the top-ranked squad pulled away.
Dippel paced the Ottawa attack with 21 points. Corey Smith finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Feighny led Ottawa with eight rebounds.
Ottawa (6-8, 3-1) plays Jan. 3 in Hillsboro versus Tabor.
Indiana Wesleyan (71) — Mikell 2, Martin 6, Vandewater 5, Hopkins 24, Weidner 14, Dubbels 8, Schoen 5, Jones 7.
Ottawa (65) — Rose 14, Dippel 7, Smith 8, Lindsay 10, Hasty 16, Wilbers 6, Regier 4.
Cardinal Stritch (78) — Smit 5, Semenas 13, Ford 9, Moore 13, Simpson 16, Mazur 10, Kraus 12.
Ottawa (66) — Brown 6, Rose 4, Dippel 21, Feighny 8, Smith 13, Lyons 2, Lindsay 8, Stewart 2, Regier 2.