Ottawa University men’s basketball coach Andy Carrier did not like how Ottawa played in the first half Tuesday against Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.
Ottawa led 43-40 at halftime and shot 50 percent from the field. The Braves responded with the kind of second half Carrier wants to see and one that will lead to success.
Ottawa rolled to a 79-66 win in the final game before the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule begins.
“The first half I was not pleased at all,” Carrier said. “The second half was as good as we’ve been on the defensive end. It was the way we tried to teach it. We picked our spots to run. We got shots out of execution. Not a moment too soon.”
Ottawa (2-6) broke a four-game slide. The Braves used a 15-2 spurt midway through the second half to go from a 55-55 tie to a 70-57 lead with 5:15 remaining in the game.
“We really had good execution during that stretch.” Carrier said. “They had to shoot tough shots because we were solid on the other end. The first half we were giving them second chances, the second half we did not. That is big.”
The 13-point bulge was the largest lead for any team in the game. Carrier said Ottawa built some confidence and momentum with the win.
Ottawa held the Indians to 26 points and 37 percent shooting in the second half.
The Braves executed the offense better in the second half.
“We did not get the ball moving in the first half,” Carrier said. “The second half we did. We are not going to get too fancy until we get the basic stuff down.”
Senior Corey Smith put the Braves on his back in the first half, netting 19 of his 29 points before halftime. He also snared nine rebounds and had three assists.
“Until teams take him away, that is what we have to establish,” Carrier said. “He is smart. He will find his other teammates.”
Junior Julian Rose put together an all-around game for the Braves. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Carrier said Rose’s biggest contribution came with his presence.
“He showed his maturity,” Carrier said. “He slowed us down when we needed it. He made big shots when we needed it. There were a lot of things Julian Rose did that don’t show up in the stats.”
Senior Chase Dippel fired in 16 points.
Ottawa plays 8 p.m. today in Salina against Kansas Wesleyan.
“We will have to be good for 40 minutes instead of 20 on Thursday,” Carrier said. The conference is a whole another level of intensity.”
Haskell (66) — Thompson 2, Medicine Crow 2, Whiteshield 16, Osborne 17, Lovato 10, Proctor 7, Lee 2, Rudd 2, Rousseu 8.
Ottawa (79) — Feighny 2, Smith 29, Brown 2, Rose 15, Dippel 16, Lindsay 5, Hasty 6, Lundry 4.