The Braves are still looking for their first win of 2018.
Following its fourth straight loss, the Ottawa University men’s basketball team will host Kansas Wesleyan University (9-9, 7-5 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) 8 p.m. Wednesday at OU’s Wilson Field House.
While the Coyotes have had better luck in the new year than the Braves, they have struggled as of recent. Kansas Wesleyan has dropped two straight games, including a 76-73 home loss Saturday to York College. The Coyotes are 3-5 on the road this season.
Ottawa (7-10, 6-6 KCAC) needs a win to avoid slipping under .500 in conference play for the first time since Novemeber.
The Braves stumbled in their Saturday game 88-81 to visiting Sterling College at Wilson Field House. OU had a shot late to rally for a win, but time ran out.
Ottawa fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first half, and shot a dismal 11-38 from the field, including 3-16 from beyond the arc. The team went into halftime down to the Warriors 40-29.
The Braves found their shooting stroke in the second half. They finished 21-35 from the field and 9-16 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes.
Sterling’s lead was steadily whittled down, and OU retook the lead on a three-point shot by Devin Perez, senior guard, at the 6:18 mark. Ottawa led by as many as five points when Tasmania Indaiana Jones, junior forward, scored with 4:04 left to put his team up 76-71.
Sterling scored the next five points to tie the game. With 55 seconds left, Keyshawn McMahon knocked down a three-point basket to give the Warriors a 79-76 lead. Two misses on two straight offensive possessions forced OU to send Sterling to the line, where it hit 4-4 free throws. A basket by Titus Rice, senior guard, followed by McMahon hitting 1-2 free throws on the ensuing foul gave the Braves the ball back. Hollis Mitchell, senior guard, hit a three with six seconds left to make it 84-81, but that was as close as it would get. Ottawa couldn’t get a turnover and was forced to foul. The Warriors hit 4-4 free throws inside the final five seconds.
Rice led all scorers with 24 points. Perez added 21 points and Jones collected a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Sterling (88) — McMahon 23, Dubbert 19, Windom-Haynes 16, Ohler 13, Oyatayo 8, Hart 4, Nordberg 3, Lacey 2.
Ottawa (81) — Rice 24, Perez 21, Jones 12, Palmer 8, Mitchell 7, McDow 6, Hansen 3.