It has been a season of streaks for Braves basketball.
After losing six of its first seven games to start the season, the Ottawa University men’s basketball team caught fire, winning six straight to close out 2017. Since coming back from winter break, the Braves (7-9, 6-5 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) have lost three games in a row to slip down a jumbled conference standings list.
The Braves will get their chance to turn the season around 5 p.m. today when they host their third straight game from Wilson Field House on the OU campus. Sterling College (5-13, 3-8 KCAC) comes to town for the second meeting between the two squads this season. Ottawa won the first matchup 78-71 Nov. 15 in Sterling.
The Warriors are towards the bottom of the conference standings, but ride in on a two-game win streak. They topped Bethany College Saturday in Lindsborg, 76-60, and York College Wednesday at home, 90-85.
Meanwhile, OU struggled in several areas in a 91-73 loss to Friends University at home Wednesday.
The Braves kept pace with the Falcons up until late in the first half. Friends ended the half on a 13-2 run, spurred by two three-point shots by Josh Mann and one by EJ Garnes.
Ottawa never got within less than eight points to the Falcon lead in the second half.
Friends out-rebounded OU 51-38 and dominated shooting from three-point range and the free-throw line. Ottawa hit just 6-27 shots from beyond the arc (22.2 percent), and 17-31 from the foul line (54.8 percent).
Isaiah Palmer, junior guard, finished with a double-double, soring 25 points and snagging 13 boards for OU. Devin Perez, senior guard, had 13 points, and Hollis Mitchell, senior guard, and Tasmania Indaiana Jones, junior forward, added 10 points each.
Friends (91) — Murdock 26, Cherne 18, Garnes 15, Fralin 10, Mann 8, Taliaferro 6, Sloan 5, Norris 3.
Ottawa (73) — Palmer 25, Perez 13, Mitchell 10, Jones 10, Rice 8, Hansen 6, Greisen 1.