The final game before winter break is here. The Ottawa University men’s basketball team hosts the hot-shooting York College Panthers 5 p.m. today in Wilson Field House.
In what should be a good matchup between two teams with nearly identical records, York College comes in as the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference’s top shooting team. The Panthers (8-5, 6-2 KCAC) are shooting 50.7 percent from the field through 13 games — the only KCAC to shoot above 50 percent thus far. The team also ranks the best in three-point field goal percentage at 41.2 percent — the only conference team to be shooting above 40 percent).
York is led by Patrick Burnett, who is second in the KCAC in shooting percentage (57 percent) and averages more than 15 points per game. The team is on a three-game win streak, beating bottom-dwelling Sterling College 86-71 Wednesday.
While a loss last Saturday butchered what was a three-game win streak for Ottawa, the team bounced back with a road victory Wednesday. The Braves shot 50 percent (32-64) and rallied to be Bethel College 91-86 in North Newton.
Neither team led by more than eight points in the contest. Bethel clung to a five-point lead (82-77) with 2:47 left that was met with four-straight points from OU senior Isaiah Palmer. After both teams traded free throws, Palmer sunk a huge three-pointer that gave Ottawa an 86-84 lead (its first in more than six minutes of play).
From there, the Braves never trailed again. Down three with 10 seconds left, Bethel’s Jaylon Scott missfired on a three-point attempt and Palmer was there for the rebound. His ensuing free throws iced the game.
Palmer and fellow senior Alex Greisen both tallied double-doubles. Palmer led all scorers with 27 points and 12 boards. Greisen added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Ottawa (91) — Palmer 27, Gresien 15, Jones 15, Haskins 9, Mallory 9, Bowie 6, Patrick 4, Baldeh 4, Butts 2.
Bethel (86) — Scott 23, Weiher 17, Bryant 15, Kistner 15, Marshall 11, Morgan 3, White 2.