POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — The No. 13-ranked Southwestern College men’s basketball team picked up a big nonconference road victory Saturday evening, defeating College of the Ozarks 93-84.
It was the first victory for the Moundbuilders (3-0) against the Bobcats in the modern era. Southwestern entered the contest 0-5 against the NAIA D-II independent school. College of the Ozarks is coming off a 2018-19 NAIA Tournament appearance and holds one of the better home-court advantages in the region.
The Builders could not have started the game any better, jumping out to a 20-0 lead on some hot 3-point shooting and great defensive play. Southwestern took a 53-35 halftime lead.
Senior Jarehn White finished with 21 points, hitting 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc in the first half.
Trailing 80-64 with eight minutes to go, Ozarks put together an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to seven. The Bobcats went on to shrink it to as low as six with a minute remaining in the game with the ball in their possession, but a missed basket led to an ensuing Justin Criddle basket on the other end to put the game out of reach.
Criddle finished with a game-high 24 points and his third straight double-digit assist outing with 10 to go with seven rebounds and two steals.
Senior Andrew Hamm, who finished with 15 points, limited Brandt Cochran to just 10 points on 3-of-21 shooting, including 1 of 12 from downtown. Cochran averaged 21 points per game a year ago.
The Builders return home at 7 p.m. Thursday for their final nonconference game, against Manhattan Christian as part of Tara Patterson Memorial Night.