College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats traveled to Lawrence, Kan. on Saturday to face Haskell Indian Nations University, who have been receiving votes in the NAIA DII Top 25 Coaches Poll, and the Lady Cats brought home an 81-60 victory.
The Lady Cats expected a tough battle from the Lady Indians and it proved to be so from the start. Both teams started off cold from the field, with CofO shooting just 22% from the field and Haskell only a bit warmer at 28%. Three pointers were the difference, as CofO went 3-7 and Haskell was just 1-7. CofO held a 19-11 lead after one.
The Lady Cats heated up in the second quarter, shooting 50% from the field and from three-point range. Haskell shot 40% from the field and 50% from three. Turnovers marked the difference, with Haskell turning the ball over twelve times to just four for the Lady Cats. Halftime found the Lady Bobcats with a 39-25 advantage. Cass Johnson led all scorers at half with twelve points, and Abby Oliver had ten. Kelsie Cleeton pulled down twelve rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats started the third quarter a bit sluggish and Haskell pulled to with ten before CofO’s lead grew to 24. Haskell shot a staggering 54% from the field in the quarter to 44% for the Lady Cats. CofO closed the quarter maintaining a fourteen-point lead, 59-45.
The fourth quarter featured nearly-even shooting, 49% for CofO and 48% for Haskell. CofO outscored the Lady Indians 22-15 in the quarter for a 81-60 final score.
Turnovers again played a role, as Haskell gave the ball away ten times in the second half, while CofO had just three. Haskell had 22 turnovers for the game to just seven for CofO. Fifteen of the twenty two turnovers were steals by the Lady Cats. Both teams shot 40% from the field for the game, with CofO hitting 11-of-28 three-point attempts for 39%. Haskell shot 36% from three. Rebounding was also relatively even, with Haskell holding a narrow edge, 41-40. The Lady Bobcats held Haskell to 17 points under their average.
Johnson led all scorers with 20 points. Close behind were Cleeton with 16, Oliver with 14, and Madisen Brethower with 11. Cleeton added another double-double to her collection, as she pulled down 17 rebounds. Cleeton recorded five steals, while she and Oliver led with four assists each.
The win improves the #6 Lady Bobcats' record to 20-3 on the season. CofO travels to Northern New Mexico to play two games--one Friday (5:00 MT) and one Saturday (1:00 MT).