Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Braves peak at KCAC tourney time

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 2/25/2014

Ottawa University men’s basketball coach Andy Carrier would like to see Thursday’s first round Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament game in Lindsborg against Bethany not be a high-scoring affair.

The last game saw both teams rock the scoreboard as the Swedes won 107-99.

Ottawa University men’s basketball coach Andy Carrier would like to see Thursday’s first round Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament game in Lindsborg against Bethany not be a high-scoring affair.

The last game saw both teams rock the scoreboard as the Swedes won 107-99.

“It was a game of big runs for both teams,” Carrier said. “They are explosive. The hit a little blip. It should be a good matchup.

“It is always an exciting time. I love this league. I love the KCAC tournament. There are so many quality coaches and players. It is always spirited.”

Ottawa (14-14) has won three straight games and is 4-2 in the final six games of the season, while Bethany snapped a three-game slide by routing winless Bethel in the season finale.

“We seem to be peaking at the right time,” Carrier said. “That is exciting. We are playing at both ends of the floor.”

Bethany comes in as one of the top scoring teams in the nation at nearly 90 points a game. Ottawa has settled in defensively giving up 77 points in the past six games since the loss the Swedes.

“We are playing a lot better offensively, but defensive is so much better and led to easy baskets,” Carrier said. “It is a combination of both things. We want to stay focused in.

“You don’t have to do anything special. You have to do all these little things we are doing right now. Continue to do those well and we will be a tough out.

“To win on the road, you have to play defense and rebound. We have guarded well on the road, but laid a couple of eggs. Hopefully those are lessons learned. I hope we take our ‘A’ game defensively to Lindsborg.”

Ottawa’s offense is in high gear. The Braves have scored at least 84 points in eight straight games.

A big part of the success has been the return of point guard Adam Hasty, who played the final seven games of the regular season. Carrier said the assist numbers doubled since Hasty’s return.

Ottawa had 23 assists on 31 made baskets against Saint Mary.

“We are really unselfish,” Carrier said. “That ball is moving. That is a team that is together.”

Hasty paced the Braves with 21 points and six assists.

“Adam hit two or three threes early and you see the other guys perk up,” Carrier said. “We have to stay consistent and make the easy plays.”

Julian Rose finished with 16 points, four assists and three steals. Kameron Lindsay had 12 points.

Alex Lundry had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Saint Mary (76) — Hicks 6, Dowdy 9, Snell 3, Young 11, Greenberg 22, Akakpo 13, Long 4, Roaf 8.

Ottawa (89) — Haase 8, Regier 4, Adam Hasty 21, Rose 16, Lindsay 12, Falk 6, Newton 4, Nichols 8, Lundry 10.

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