Early Lead Slips Away for Evangel Men in Round 1 of Highway 65 Showdown at College of the Ozarks

Early Lead Slips Away for Evangel Men in Round 1 of Highway 65 Showdown at College of the Ozarks

The Basics
: Evangel 82 College of the Ozarks 93 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (0-2); College of the Ozarks (2-1)
Location: Point Lookout, Mo. | Keeter Gym 

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — An early lead for the Evangel men's basketball team slipped away in the second half Tuesday night falling 93-82 at College of the Ozarks in the first meeting of the Rib Crib Highway 65 Showdown.

Evangel used a tough mentality to build a 36-25 halftime lead. The Crusaders forced 11 turnovers in the early going to help lead by as many as 12 points.

"We caught fire during a really good stretch," said head coach Steve Jenkins. "The biggest thing tonight shows our players, coaches, and fans, is we can be really, really good. Unfortunately, tonight it was for about 34 minutes."

The second half was more Crusaders early as Cade Coffman and Clark Brewington knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to build a 42-29 advantage.

However, College of the Ozarks rallied back from down 18 points in the second half. The Bobcats shot 61 percent from the field and was 6 of 12 from behind the three-point arc to extend its lead down the stretch.

"Credit CofO for turning it on in the second half," said head coach Steve Jenkins. "We lost our poise tonight and that can't happen against good teams. The foul trouble in the second half didn't help either and that led to some bad shots to let them back in it."

The foul trouble struck at the seven-minute mark when Pavel Antonov fouled out having played just six minutes.

Nate Davis led Evangel with 22 points while Edriel Martinborough and Clark Brewington each added 14 points. Brewington pulled down seven boards as the Crusaders were outrebounded 42-38 and shot 65 percent from the free-throw line on 15 of 23, however, CofO shot 30 free throws to finish 22 of 30.

Brandt Cochran led the Bobcats with 32 points in the win.

"The way we shot the ball and the toughness is something that's going to help us," Jenkins added. "We have a quick turnaround but right now this really hurts not walking out of here with a W."

Evangel is quickly back in action Wednesday night on the north side of Springfield at Baptist Bible College. Tip from W.E. Dowell Fieldhouse is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.