Ozarks Punches Ticket Into Quarterfinals
Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score)- The host Bobcats of College of the Ozarks (Mo.) played to its raucous fan base and defeated Southern Oregon 76-59 in the second round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's National Basketball Championship.
Nathane Simniok scored a game-high 24 points and teammate Mike Wiebe netted 20, including a last second three-pointer from just inside half court that energized the home crowd and put Ozarks on top 37-29 at the break.
Wiebe knocked down another three-pointer to start the second half and Ozarks pushed the lead up to 16 (54-38) with 13 minutes left to play. Southern Oregon was able to slowly come back and after a three-pointer by Kyle Tedder, was within six with five minutes to go. A three-pointer by Ethan Murray ignited the Bobcats and sparked a 13-2 run to put the game away during the final minutes.
Ozarks shot an even 50% from the field and held a 36-25 advantage on the boards. Both Murray and Dami Sapara went for 11 points each.
The game was tight early, with five lead changes over the first 12 minutes. A jumper by Sapara put the Bobcats up for good and a 13-3 run, led by Simniok, put Ozarks on top 32-23 with two minutes left before the half.
Southern Oregon was led by the front court duo of David Sturner and Eric Thompson with 21 and 20 points, respectively. The Raiders made 11 three-pointers, shooting better from beyond the arc (39%) than from the two-point area (38%). Southern Oregon ends the season with a 25-10 record.
Ozarks advances into the quarterfinal round for the sixth time in school history and for the second time in three years. The Bobcats will take a 23-12 record into Saturday's match-up against #11 Indiana University Southeast. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.