#14 Cassidy Johnson (Photo by Plumlee Photo)
College of the Ozarks women’s basketball team returned to their winning ways on Friday in Lakeland, Florida, as they handily defeated Thomas University (Ga.) by a score of 93-48.
The Lady Bobcats’ defense proved quite stingy, as they held the Night Hawks to a meager 15 points in the first half. Meanwhile, senior Cass Johnson put up 14 points of her own to lead the Lady Cats, as they headed to the locker room with a 41-15 halftime advantage. Kelsie Cleeton also had a strong first half, collecting 8 points and 9 rebounds. Several Lady Cats came off the bench to tally 14 points.
The second half saw CofO’s sophomore guard Abby Oliver get hot. She went 6-10 from the field, draining 4-6 three-point attempts, to net 16 points in the half. Cass Johnson finished off her 4-6 first-half field goal shooting by going 8-10 on the day, hitting 5 of 7 from three-point range. Johnson led all scorers with 24 points and provided a game-leading 7 assists. Kelsie Cleeton added yet another double-double to her collection, hauling down a game-leading 14 rebounds while scoring 10 points. Annie Noah, the 6’-0 freshman center from Theodosia, recorded her best game of the season by scoring 14 points on 7-12 shooting and nabbing 9 rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats took good care of the ball, turning it over only 9 times, compared to 18 turnovers by Thomas. They out-rebounded the Night Hawks, 53-32, and dished 28 assists on the day. All nine of the Lady Cats who played, scored in the game, with five posting double digits. The fifth was freshman Clare Shetley (Sullivan, Mo.) with 10. CofO shot 47.3% from the field, hitting 16 triples, while holding Thomas to 29.7%.
College of the Ozarks’ women move to 11-3 on the season. They will head to Bellevue, Neb. next weekend to take on two tough competitors in the Bellevue Classic. The Lady Cats will face NAIA DII #15 ranked Hastings College on Friday and Bellevue University (10-5) on Saturday, who is receiving votes in the NAIA Coaches Poll.