The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats defeated the Wilberforce Lady Bulldogs in the second round of the A.I.I. Conference Tournament, 100-51.
The Lady Cats pounced early in the first quarter shooting 62% from the field while holding Wilberforce to just 26% to take a 28-10 lead. In the second quarter, the Lady Cats failed to extend the lead due to seven uncharacteristic turnovers. However, Wilberforce couldn’t make any headway because the Lady Cats dominated the glass by a margin of 20-9 for the half. At the end of two quarters, the Lady Bobcats were ahead 46-29. Going into the break, Abby Oliver led all scorers with 11 and Madisen Brethower led the rebounding effort with 11.
In the third quarter, Cassidy Johnson knocked down a pair of three-pointers to go along with two free-throws for eight of her game high 18 points to help the Lady Bobcats get rolling. The Lady Cat defense held Wilberforce to just five field goals on 33% shooting for the quarter to finish the third frame ahead, 70-43.
For the second game in a row, the Lady Cats were able to deploy the bench for the vast majority of the fourth quarter. Michelle Gabani wasted no time snatching a couple of steals and connecting from downtown within the first two minutes to extend the lead. Next it was Clare Shetley’s turn to get in on the action. Following a defensive rebound and outlet, Shetley found some room on the outside and connected on her first of five consecutive field goals made, including four from deep, to finish with 14 points. Shetley’s last three-pointer for the game pushed the lead to 49 with just 1:27 remaining in the game. For Shetley that broke her career high of 12 set just yesterday.
C of O finished the game 35 of 63 from the field (56%) while holding Wilberforce to just 20 of 66 (30%). The Lady Cats out rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 37-19. Six Lady Bobcats finished in double-figures including Johnson’s 18, Abby Oliver with 16, Clare Shetley with 14, Annie Noah with 12, Madisen Brethower with 11, and Aleksei Smith with 10.
With the win, the Lady Bobcats advance to the Championship against second seed Indiana Northwest on Sunday, February 24 at 4 PM. Also, by advancing to the Championship, the Lady Cats clinch one of A.I.I.’s three automatic bids to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.