Sterling, Kan. (SCWarriors.com) – The Warriors lost a hard-fought battle to the Ottawa Braves on Saturday, 91-83. Much of the game was closely contested, but it was their success getting to and making shots from the free throw line that sealed the deal for the Braves late in the game.
The two teams battled hard for twenty minutes with the Braves clinging to a one point lead after twenty minutes of play. Jayden Garrison carried the torch in the first half and kept the Warriors in the game. Chris Drake made an impact on the boards grabbing five first-half rebounds.
It was the second half that really made the difference. Sterling got six fouls in about six minutes of play in the second half, so Ottawa spent most of the second half in the bonus shooting free throws. The Braves shot nearly 50 free throws in the game, 34 of them in the second half alone. They scored 29 second half points from the charity stripe.
The Warriors did their best to keep pace with the Braves, but it was just too much. Ottawa hit their free throws at a well above average clip. They hit over 85% of their second half free throws, giving them a huge advantage. Sterling was outscored at the free throw line by 26 points for the game. Clean up the fouls, send the Braves to the line less, and this would have been a completely different outcome. The Warriors were outscored 55-48 in the second half, which is a great feat considering the circumstances.
Sterling travels to northern Kansas on Wednesday to take on the University of Saint Mary. Both teams currently have the same conference record, and are fighting for the last spot in the KCAC postseason tournament. We are still a few weeks from that decision being made, but it is not too early to start thinking about it.
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