The Braves are in a good position with 15 games left in January and February. With its win on Saturday, the Ottawa University men’s basketball (9-6, 6-3 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) sits fourth in the 13-team conference standings. It returns to action 7 p.m. Jan. 2 to host McPherson College (6-8, 3-7 KCAC).
OU beat visiting York Colloege 74-67 Saturday to leapfrog the Panthers in the standings. Now, the men sit only behind Friends University (9-4, 7-3 KCAC), No. 12 Southwestern College (12-1, 8-1 KCAC) and No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan (13-0, 8-0 KCAC) in the standings.
Ottawa colled off the hottest shooting team in the conference Saturday, keeping York to just 34.7 percent from the field (25-72), including 14.3 percent from beyond the arc (5-35).
Isaiah Palmer, Ottawa senior guard, had a monter game, dropping 36 points and collecting 13 boards for a double-double. He was a perfect 13-13 from the foul line and earned KCAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. Tasmania Indaiana Jones, OU senior forward, also had a double-double, scoring 13 points and snagged 11 boards.
York climbed all the way back after being down by as many as 24 points in the first half (40-16). Ottawa never trailed in the contest, but the Panthers managed to chip away at the lead until finally breaking within single digits on a Patrick Burnett three with four mintues left.
The lead was as few a three twice in the final minute-and-a-half. Burnett hit a free throw to make it 68-65 and the Panthers had an opportunity when Eric Lenear got a steal on the ensuing possession. It was short-lived, however, as Lenear turned the ball back over to Ottawa and Palmer subsequently hit a bucket to push the lead back to five. Palmer and Jackson Mallory, sophomore guard, hit free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the win.
Burnett led York with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Ottawa (74) — Palmer 36, Jones 13, Mallory 8, Greisen 6, Patrick 6, Haskins 3, Baldeh 2.
York (67) — Burnett 21, Munday-Rashid 14, Tolbert 7, Garrett 7, Stafford 6, Ewell 6, Lenear 4, Johnson 2.