The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats opened the first round of the A.I.I. Conference Tournament with a 93-46 victory over the host school,#8 seed Lincoln Christian University.
The Lady Cats shot just 32% in the opening quarter but forced ten turnovers to compensate for their shooting. C of O held a 19-8 advantage after one. They erupted offensively in the second quarter, shooting 50% from the field and 55% from the three-point line, outscoring the Lady Lynx 27-11 to go into the half with a 46-19 lead. Kelsie Cleeton nearly had a triple-double at halftime with ten points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. C of O held a 24-19 rebounding advantage and forced 16 first-half turnovers, while having just five of their own.
The Lady Cats continued to play well in the third quarter on both ends of the court. Defensively they held Lincoln to just nine points on 25% shooting. C of O stayed hot from the field, shooting 47% from the field and 57% from the three-point line. The bench took over in the fourth quarter, while the starters received much- needed rest for the remaining games. The Lady Cat bench outscored Lincoln 22-18 in the final quarter. C of O shot 46% in the second half and 62% from three. LCU shot 36% and 33% respectively for the half.
The Lady Cats finished with 43% shooting from the field and 46% from three. Lincoln Christian was 34% from the field and 25% from behind the arc. C of O forced 24 turnovers, while turning it over just ten times. The Lady Cats dished out 28 assists on 34 made shots. C of O also held a 52-35 rebounding advantage.
Kelsie Cleeton finished with a triple-double in just under 24 minutes of action. She led all scorers with 16 points, pulled down 14 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists. Abby Oliver finished with twelve points. Clare Shetley contributed a career high 12 points. Cassidy Johnson and Ashley Forrest each had eleven to round-out five Lady Cats in double figures. The bench finished with 39 points in the game.
C of O will face the winner of the 4/5 match-up between Fisher and Wilberforce, Saturday at 2:00 p.m.