Defense lifts Braves to rout of Kansas City Christian

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

When the Ottawa University men’s basketball team’s defense comes to play, the Braves are a different team.

The final 30 minutes of Saturday’s 101-53 win over Kansas City Christian in Wilson Field House was a testament to that.

Ottawa University senior Andre Jackson looks to make a move against a Kansas City Christian defender.

The visitors were within 17-15 with 10:45 left in the first half. That is when Ottawa kicked in defensively.

“I called a timeout to chew on them,” Ottawa coach Aaron Siebenthall said. “We were not where we were supposed to be defensively. For us to be good, we have to be locked in defensively.

“We pressed a little bit to get our energy going and get our guys flying around a little bit.”

Ottawa was lights out on both ends of the floor the rest of the game. Ottawa led 49-24 at halftime and extended the lead throughout the second half.

“When we run and stretch the floor we are hard to guard,” Siebenthall said. “We have to keep getting better at both ends of the floor.”

Ottawa had a three-week break between games and scheduled KCC on Friday when Saint Mary pulled out because of the pandemic.

“I can’t say enough good things for Kansas City Christian, coming to play us on a last-minute (notice),” Siebenthall said. “It really helped us out. I am glad we were able to play somebody different than us. Hopefully, we get back into rhyhym of playing two games a week like we are supposed to.”

Siebenthall said practices were good until the past three days before the game.

“We got a lot accomplished over the break,” he said. “Having a couple weeks of practice has been so good for us. We were practicing and locked in at a pretty high level. That went down a little three or four days ago.”

Ottawa had a balanced attack with five players in double figures. Jaquan Daniels paced Ottawa with 22 points. Ian Moore netted 18. Ty Bland finished with 11 points. Andre Jackson had 10 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and five assists. Dakota Grey tossed in a career-best 10 points.

Ottawa (6-4) is scheduled to play 7 p.m. Wednesday against the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth.