The Braves will get their second shot at the KCAC’s leading team.
The Ottawa University men’s basketball team hosts No. 12 Southwestern College (21-6, 14-5 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) 5 p.m. today at OU’s Wilson Field House.
The Moundbuilders won the first matchup between the two teams this season, 84-81 Jan. 3 in Winfield. That win was part of an eight-game win streak that put Southwestern at a 21-2 record, and boosted them up to No. 6 in the NAIA rankings. Since, the Builders have hit a major slump, dropping four straight games — three by three points or less — and losing a large lead in the conference standings. With three games left, Soutwestern has just a one-game lead on No. 20 Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
Ottawa 67, Bethel 61
NORTH NEWTON — While the Braves won’t be competing for a KCAC regular season championship, they are doing their part to make some noise before the conference tournament.
Ottawa topped Bethel College Wednesday on the road 67-61, marking the third win in four games for OU after the team had previously lost six of seven.
The Braves had a 32-24 lead at halftime, and led by as many as 16 (52-36) with 11:32 left in the second half. A 13-2 run by the Threshers cut the lead down to 54-49, and from there on out Bethel kept it tight despite never leading.
Bethel got within 65-61 with 36 seconds left, but Hollis Mitchell came through clutch when sent to the foul line. The senior guard hit 2-2 free throws to all but ice the win.
Mitchell led Ottawa’s offense with 17 points and five assists. Titus Rice, senior guard, added 13 points, and Tasmania Indaiana Jones, junior forward, had 10 points. Jake Hansen, junior forward, also had 10 points. Bethel’s Joe Rushing led all scorers with 23 points.
The Braves overcame 22 turnovers with hot shooting. They finished 47.3 percent from the field (26-55) compared to Bethel’s 33.8 percent (25-74). The Threshers shot just 9-36 from beyond the arc, and 2-12 from the free throw line.
Ottawa (67) — Mitchell 17, Rice 13, Jones 10, Hansen 10, Palmer 6, Greisen 4, McDow 4, Mallory 3.
Bethel (61) — Rushing 23, Bryant 11, Morgan 10, Foster 6, Jordan 6, Banister 3, Marshall 2.