The No. 7 Ottawa University men’s basketball team is embroiled in a tight race for the KCAC regular-season championship.
With seven games remaining, Ottawa and Oklahoma Wesleyan are tied at 13-4 with four other teams within two games, including Friends, Ottawa’s next opponent.
The Falcons (14-9, 12-6), fresh off a two-game winning streak, and Ottawa (19-4) battle 6 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Field House. Ottawa is coming off a 75-74 loss to Bethel on Wednesday in North Newton.
Ottawa is 10-1 this season on Andy Carrier Court inside Wilson Field House. Ottawa has won three straight home games. In those victories, Ottawa is averaging 93.6 points per game while allowing 74.6 points.
Ottawa is ranked ninth in the NAIA in scoring per game at 88 points, while Friends is ranked in total scoring defense (1,820).
The Braves also are No. 10 in assists per game (17.4) and No. 11 in total assists (383). Ottawa’s defense is No. 12 in opponents field goal percentage (.409).
Ottawa junior forward Jaquan Daniels ranks 15th in steals (45) and 23rd in steals per game (2.045). He is the reigning KCAC Defensive Player of the Week. He is coming off a career-high of 35 points. He also is Ottawa’s top rebounder (6.0).
Ottawa senior guard Darryl Bowie, Ottawa’s leading scorer (19.2), is No. 31 in total scoring (423).
James Conley leads Friends in scoring (18.1), assists (3), steals (2), and blocks (0.4). Davonte Pack is the team’s leader in rebounding (4.7).
The Braves won the first meeting this season at the Garvey Center on Dec. 5, 99-75.
Ottawa is coming off a tough 75-74 loss to Bethel. Ottawa had two chances in the final minute to retake the lead, but the shots went awry. Both teams had big runs throughout the game. Ottawa rallied from a 50-39 halftime deficit to take the lead at 74-73 with a minute remaining. The Braves held the Threshers to 25 points in the second half.