Close games have not been friendly to the Braves in January.
After starting 1-6 since the calendars turned to 2018, the Ottawa University men’s basketball team is in search of a win 5 p.m. today when it hosts Bethany College (7-16, 3-12 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference).
Of Ottawa’s six losses this month, one one was by more than seven points. The Braves (8-12, 7-8 KCAC) sit three games behind second place in the conference standings with seven games left in the regular season.
Bethany hasn’t faired better in January. The Swedes are 1-6 as well, their lone win coming on Jan. 17 in an overtime contest at McPherson College. They are coming off a 75-62 loss Wednesday at Friends University.
YORK, Nebraska — The Braves dropped a thriller Wednesday at York College, 89-87. The game featured 14 ties and 15 lead changes, but a missed basket by Titus Rice, senior guard, with one second was the difference.
A three-point play by Tasmania Indaiana Jones, junior forward, gave OU an 87-86 lead with 40 seconds left. York’s Chris Smith gave his team the lead right back nine seconds later with a basket to make it 88-87 Panthers.
Rice missed a three-point shot with 12 seconds left on OU’s next trip down the court, and York’s Mark Dean snagged the offensive rebound, forcing the Braves to foul. Dean hit 1-2 free throws with 10 seconds left, setting up the final possession.
Niether team led by more than seven points throughout the contest.
Despite the heartbreaker, Ottawa shot well, hitting 51.5 percent (34-66) of its shots from the floor. All five OU starters scored in double digits, led by Jones who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. Isaiah Palmer, junior guard, picked up a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards.
York (89) — Smith 24, Dean 17, T. Lenear 16, Lenard 12, Burnett 6, R. Johnson 5, M. Johnson 4, Munday-Rashid 2, E. Lenear 1.
Ottawa (87) — Jones 20, Rice 16, Mitchell 15, Perez 11, Palmer 10, McDow 9, Hansen 6.