The Braves look to pick up momentum as the postseason looms.
The Ottawa University men’s basketball team is already a lock for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, currently sitting eighth in the conference standings out of eight teams eligible to move on to the postseason. The Braves (11-14, 10-10 KCAC) have two games remaining on the regular season schedule, both on the road. They play 8 p.m. Wednesday at Friends University (15-12, 13-7 KCAC) in Wichita, and 7 p.m. Saturday at Tabor College (13-13, 12-8 KCAC) in Hillsboro.
Friends has gone 2-2 in its last four games, including a 97-91 win over a struggling Sterling team Saturday at home. The Falcons won the first meeting between the two squads Jan. 10 in Ottawa by a large 91-73 margin.
No. 12 Southwestern 92, Ottawa 86
The Braves had an opportunity to take down the KCAC’s leading team Saturday in Wilson Field House, but fell just short of the upset. The No. 12-ranked Southwestern College Moundbuilders broke their four-game losing streak with a 92-86 win over Ottawa on Senior Night.
Neither team led by more than six points until less than two minutes to go in the contest. With the game tied 79-79 with 2:09 left, the Builders went on an 9-0 run thanks to five points from LaJuan Hardy and four points from Cameron Hunt. In that span, the OU offense committed two turnovers and one missed shot.
A bucket by Isaiah Palmer, junior guard, made it 90-86 Southwestern with 17 seconds left, but SC’s Jacob Horsch hit both foul shots on the ensuing possession, and time ran out on the Braves.
It marked the second close loss Ottawa suffered against the KCAC’s top team, the first coming Jan. 3, 84-81, in Winfield.
Hardy led all scorers with 28 points. Palmer had 24 points for the Braves and collected eight rebounds.
SC (92) — Hardy 28, Hunt 25, Wallace 14, Mills 8, Smith 5, Martinez 4, Fisher 3, Hamm 3, Horsch 2.
OU (86) — Palmer 24, Rice 19, Mitchell 18, Jones 14, Hansen 5, McDow 4, Neidig 2.