Postseason college basketball kicks off tomorrow with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament quarterfinals. Ottawa University (fifth seed) looks to extend its season 7 p.m. at Kansas Wesleyan Univeristy (fourth seed) in Salina.
OU (17-13, 14-10 KCAC) lost both of its head-to-head matchups against the Coyotes (17-11, 14-9) this season. Kansas Wesleyan got hot coming out of winter break, including a six-game win streak in late January spilling over into February that helped the team leapfrog Ottawa for fourth in the conference standings. The Coyotes, however, lost their final two games of the season — both games saw the team fail to eclipse 55 points.
Meanwhile, Ottawa had a very up-and-down second half of the regular season concluding Saturday with a 95-88 road loss at Saint Mary in Leavenworth. That made OU’s road record 2-6 since winter break.
The Braves led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Saint Mary chipped away until finally reclaiming the upper hand midway through the second half. A pair of free throws by Edvonte Copeland gave the Spires a 57-56 lead with 13:38 left. A three-pointer by OU’s Isaiah Palmer tied the game at 9:35 mark, but the Braves never led again.
Saint Mary built its lead up to as many as 12 points with less than five minutes to go, but Ottawa didn’t go quietly. A bucket by Darryl Bowie with 1:20 left cut Saint Mary’s lead to 89-85, but that was as close as the Braves got.
Copeland led all scorers with 33 points on 10-14 shooting (7-10 from three-point range). Palmer scored 26 to lead Ottawa on 10-18 shooting.
Saint Mary (95) - Copeland 33, Howard 22, Lundy 16, Sinegal 8, Killeen 8, Hailey 6, Taylor 2.
Ottawa (88) - Palmer 26, McDow 14, Haskins 12, Mallory 9, Jones 8, Bowie 6, Greisen 5, Patrick 3, Baldeh 3, Mead 2.