SALINA — The Ottawa University men’s basketball team is finding ways to win. The Braves have won easily, by outscoring opponents and the close games.
Ottawa has won six games by six or less points, including two two-point victories and Wednesday’s one-point win over Kansas Wesleyan. Ottawa picked up its eighth straight victory with the 76-75 win over the Coyotes in Salina.
The win coupled with the Bethel loss gave Ottawa a two-game cushion in the KCAC standings. Bethel, Friends and Oklahoma Wesleyan are tied at 8-3 for second place behind the nationally ranked Braves (15-1, 10-1).
The Ottawa University men’s basketball team picked up its eighth straight victory with a 76-75 win over Kansas Wesleyan University in Mabee Arena on Wednesday night.
The Braves’ 10-1 mark is their best record in KCAC play through 11 conference games since the 1958-59 season. That year, the Braves went 11-0 through 11 KCAC games. They finished conference play with a record of 12-1.
Ottawa’s overall mark of 16-1 is its best record since the 1952-53 season.
The Braves close out the first half of the KCAC schedule 5 p.m. Saturday at home against McPherson (12-5, 7-4). Since the 2018-19 season, the Braves are 18-2 in Wilson Field House and have own 11 straight home games.
Ottawa displayed its tough demeanor in holding off Kansas Wesleyan after building a 15-point second half lead. Kansas Wesleyan cut the lead to three points and then went on a 10-3 run to take the lead at 68-67.
Kansas Wesleyan led 72-71 with 1:14 left. After defensive stops by both teams, Ottawa retook the lead with 20 seconds left. Darryl Bowie hit a three to give Ottawa a 74-72 lead. Joe Johnson III hit two free throws with five seconds left to increase the lead to 76-72. Wesleyan hit a half-court three at the buzzer.
Bowie led Otawa with 20 points. Johnson III, Jaquan Daniels and Ryan Haskins had 13 points apiece.
Lady Braves fall
The offense continues to be mired in a slump. The Ottawa women scored a season-low 39 points in the 64-39 defeat to Kansas Wesleyan.
Ottawa has scored 51 points or less in seven games this season. Ottawa averages just 56 points a game.
The Lady Braves (2-12, 2-9) close the first portion of the conference schedule 3 p.m. Saturday at home against McPherson, which handed KCAC leader Sterling its only conference loss this season. McPherson (9-8, 5-6) has lost two straight games.
Ottawa remained in the game against Kansas Wesleyan until the third quarter. Ottawa was behind 34-21 at halftime but mustered just 18 points in the second half.
Jennifer Anthony scored 12 points off the bench to pace Ottawa.