College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats put on quite a show for their fans in their last home game of the season on Saturday. It was senior night, and Lady Cats Madisen Brethower, Cass Johnson, and Kelsie Cleeton were recognized prior to the game for their many accomplishments over their four-year Lady Cat careers. The fans were certainly not disappointed, as the Lady Cats dominated Lincoln Christian University by a score of 84-44.
The LCU Lynx opened the game with two quick baskets to take a 4-0 lead, but the Lady Cats responded with some impressive three-point shooting to take a 21-9 lead with 4:28 remaining. The Lynx made a bit of a comeback by putting up eight points to four by CofO, closing out the quarter with the Lady Cats ahead 25-17.
The second quarter found the Lady Cats playing exceptional defense, holding the Lynx to only four points for the period, while scoring 19 of their own. The Lady Cats headed to the locker room with a 44-21 lead. For the half, the Lady Cats shot 13-42 (31%) and LCU was 9-28 (32.1%). The key component, however, was turnovers. CofO turned the ball over only twice in the half, compared to 17 turnovers by LCU. The Lady Cats nabbed seven steals in the first quarter and six in the second. Cass Johnson led all players with 11 points. Kelsie Cleeton dished five assists and grabbed six steals. The Lynx held a slight advantage in rebounds, pulling down 26 to CofO’s 23.
The second half saw both teams improve their shooting percentages—the Lady Cats shot 38.5% from the field and the Lynx made 36% of their field goals. In the third quarter, LCU scored just 12 points versus 27 by CofO. The Lady Cats remained aggressive on defense, acquiring seven more steals in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Cats’ defensive onslaught continued. With 4:30 remaining, Coach Mullis pulled her three seniors, who received a standing ovation from the crowd. The Lady Cats closed out the game shortly thereafter with an 84-44 victory.
All three seniors scored in double figures, with Johnson leading all scorers at 24 points, Cleeton contributing 14, and Brethower tallying 12. Also completing the game in double figures was junior Aleksei Smith.
Cleeton, who excelled across the stat charts throughout the season, did not fail CofO fans on Saturday. She completed the game with a quadruple double, adding a game-leading 13 rebounds, 12 steals (career high), and 11 assists to her 14 points on the day. For the season, Cleeton has posted 15 double doubles, two triple-doubles, and one quadruple-double. The Lady Bobcats had 25 total steals and 23 assists in the game.
Both Johnson and Cleeton are well-recognized in the Top Ten of the NAIA DII rankings. Johnson is #1 in 3-pt field goals made per game (3.82), total 3-pt field goals made (107), and 3-pt. field goal percentage (47.1%).Cleeton ranks in the Top Ten in nine different categories related to rebounds. Steals, assists, and assist-to-turnover ratio, including a #3 ranking in total rebounds (327), #4 in rebounds per game (11.68), and #5 in offensive rebounds per game (4.25).
The Lady Cats are now 26-3 on the season. They are the number one seed in the A.I.I. Conference Championship tournament that will take place next weekend at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Ill.