PDT Sports Writer
Just like they did the previous night, the Shawnee State Men's basketball team was able to get to the foul line much more than their opponent. But this opponent, the College of the Ozarks Bobcats, would use the three point line to nullify the Bears advantage from the free throw line.
The Bobcats would make ten three's in the game on their way to an 82-62 victory over the Bears Saturday afternoon at SSU.
Shawnee State head coach Jeff Hamilton was impressed with the way the Bobcats shot the ball.
"They did not shoot the ball very well the last couple of games," Hamilton said of the Bobcats. "They certainly shot the ball well tonight, so give them a lot of credit for that."
The two teams spent the first few minutes of the game getting a feel for how the game would be played. The Bobcats, who came into the game ranked fifth in the nation, surged to a lead of 11-4 before the Bears would battle back. Justin Patrick would lead the Bears back into the game.
Patrick was able to use his speed to get by the bigger Bobcat defenders. The run by Shawnee State would force the Bobcats to call a timeout with the score tied at 11.
The Bobcats would come out of the timeout and go on a run of their own running of eight straight points against the Bears. It was a run that Shawnee would not recover from.
College of the Ozarks would go into the locker room at halftime with a lead of 46-33.
In their victory over Madonna University Friday night, the Bears came out of the locker room and turned up the defensive intensity. Unfortuanetly for the Bears, that did not happen Saturday. Hamilton was disappointed with his team's defense against the Bobcats.
"We have got to get better defensively," Hamilton said. "Our fundamentals defensively were not very good. We have to be able to communicate better on defense."
Corey Stone, a forward for the Bobcats, would catch fire in the second half and help put distance between the two teams. Stone, who led his team in scoring with 23 points, scored eight straight points to all but put the game out of reach for the Bears.
Shawnee State shot 33 free throws in the game, shooting 73 percent from the line. The Bears were much smaller than the Bobcats and were trying to use their quickness to get open shots.
"We try to spread them out and attack the basket," Hamilton said. "They had a tough time guarding us off the bounce. Unfortunately, I think we got a little impatient and stopped moving the ball. In the second half, especially, we were more along the lines of one pass and done."
"They were big and long," Hamilton said of the Bobcats. "I didn't think that we passed the ball particularly well tonight. You can probably attribute that to their length."
The Bobcats were led by Slone who added eight rebounds to go along with this 23 points. Colt Blair would finish the night with 21 points and Jared Howerton added 15 points to the win for the Bobcats.
SSU was led in scoring by Patrick. The senior finished the game with 16 points. Kyle Miller had a good game for the Bears as well. He would finish with 13 points and led the team in rebounding with seven. Keelyn Franklin added eight points and Jeremy McLeod contributed six points off the bench in the loss.
Shawnee State will host Rio Grande Tuesday evening.
MIKE CRAFT can be reached at (740) 353-3101 extension 242