One game after facing the conference’s leading offensive team, the Braves will take on the KCAC’s leading scorer.
Friends University (4-1, 2-0 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) comes to town 8 p.m. today for a showdown with the Ottawa University men’s basketball team (3-4, 1-1 KCAC).
The Falcons are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 poll after starting conference play undefeated. Last week, the team topped Sterling College at home 85-66 and Saint Mary in Leavenworth 91-81. Friends senior Jordan Murdock earned the KCAC Offensive Player of the Week nod and is the current conference leading scorer with 152 points through five games (30.4 ppg).
Ottawa, meanwhile, has show flashes of brilliance in a young season, but has been inconsistent. The team is coming off a 101-82 loss Saturday to undefeated Southwestern College (5-0) in Winfield. The Moundbuilders are the current highest-scoring team in the KCAC, averaging 96 points per game.
Southwestern showed its explosiveness Saturday, turning a three-point lead (31-28) at the 6:31 mark in the first half into a 13-point lead (44-28) less than three minutes later. SC star Cameron Hunt scored 10 of his 30 points in that span, and the home team used that run to take a 54-42 lead into the locker rooms at halftime.
The lead only grew larger when Southwestern opened up the second half on a 27-12 run, taking its largest lead of the day at 27 points (81-54). Ottawa never got closer than 15 points in the second half.
The Moundbuilders shot 52.9 percent from the field (36-68), including 17-33 from beyond the arc. OU shot 48.5 percent (32-66). Southwestern won the rebound battle by a sizable 40-22 margin.
Hunt led all scorers with 30 points and finished with seven assists. Isaiah Palmer, senior guard, finished with 21 points for Ottawa.
Southwestern (101) — Hunt 30, Hamm 14, Anderson 12, Ekiko 11, Pratt 10, White 9, Baker 9, Smith 4, McGroarty 2.
Ottawa (82) — Palmer 21, Haskins 15, Greisen 14, McDow 9, Patrick 8, Mallory 7, Jones 6, Baldeh 2.
Two teams coming off their first wins of the season will go for two in a row 6 p.m. today. The Ottawa University women’s basketball team (1-4, 1-1 KCAC) hosts Friends University (1-5, 1-1 KCAC) in Wilson Field House.
One year removed from an NAIA postseason berth, Friends is still finding its footing in 2018-19. The team edged Saint Mary 70-62 Saturday in Leavenworth to snap a five-game losing streak.
A young Ottawa team has similarly struggled in the win-loss column to begin the season, but gained momentum with a 68-52 win Saturday at Southwestern College in Winfield.
A 23-4 start capped off by a three-pointer by Kaitlyn Hughes with 8:31 left in the second quarter gave the Lady Braves an almost insurmountable lead early. Southwestern, however, didn’t back down without a fight. The home team cut the OU lead to single digits twice in the third quarter, but that was as close as the game would get. Ottawa scored 25 points off 11-15 shooting in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
Jenna Kramer, junior guard, led the Lady Braves with 12 points. Avery Lewman, junior guard, and Liz Vaughn, freshman forward, scored 10 points apiece. Southwestern’s Ashley Carrillo led all scorers with 14 points.
Ottawa shot 44.3 percent (27-60) from the field compared to SC’s 35.8 percent (19-53).
Ottawa (68) — Kramer 12, Lewman 10, Vaughn 10, Grizzle 8, Nachbar 8, Anthony 7, Hendricks 6, Hughes 3, Barron 2, Rose 2.
Southwestern (52) — Carrillo 14, Laskey 13, Evans 9, Futch 8, Lawler 2, Strickland 2, McCormick 2, Barnes 2.