A fourth straight road loss has the Braves on the outside looking in.
Three games remain in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball season, and Ottawa University (15-12, 12-9 KCAC) is a lock for the postseason. However, a five-game win streak by Kansas Wesleyan (16-9, 14-7 KCAC) helped the Coyotes leapfrog OU for fourth in the conference standings. With a two-game lead, Kansas Wesleyan has the upper hand to host a KCAC tournament game Feb. 20.
The Braves are not down and out just yet. They play McPherson College (10-16, 6-15 KCAC) 7 p.m. today on the road. OU previously beat the Bulldogs 93-84 Jan. 2 in Wilson Field House.
McPherson has slumped to a 1-5 record in its last six contests. In three of those losses, the team was routed by an average of 34.6 points per game. The team’s Wednesday game at Saint Mary was cancelled, making last Saturday the last time McPherson played — a 72-71 home loss to Bethany College.
Following today’s game, Ottawa closes out the season with its final regular season home game 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. No. 1 Okalhoma Wesleyan; and on the road the next Saturday 5 p.m. at Saint Mary.
YORK 95, OTTAWA 86
YORK, Nebraska — Ryan Haskins sunk a three-point bucket that gave Ottawa a 43-41 lead with 2:38 left in the first half. Following a pair of Patrick Burnett free throws and a basket by York’s Lance Ewell, the Panthers retook the lead and never relinquished it down the stretch. The 95-86 loss on Wednesday saw the ninth consecutive game the Braves eclipsed the 80-point mark — four of those games, however, were losses.
York took its largest lead of the game, 83-72, with 4:01 left. Ottawa rattled off seven unanswered points to cut the lead to 83-79 with 2:52 left. In that span, Haskins nailed another three and Isaiah Palmer capped off the run with a basket.
That was a close as the Braves got. The team missed its next four shots from the field, in wich time the Panthers built their lead back to 10 (89-79) with a minute and change left.
OU committed 22 turnovers in the contest.
Haskins led all scorers with 21 points on 7-9 shooting behind the arch. Nevell Lenard led York with 18 points.
York (95) - Lenard 18, Burnett 17, Tolbert 13, Lenear 10, Ewell 10, Johnson 8, Munday-Rashid 6, Williams 6, Smith 5, Garrett 2.
Ottawa (86) - Haskins 21, Jones 18, Palmer 14, Greisen 10, Bowie 10, McDow 7, Baldeh 4, Kaegi 2.