College of the Ozarks women’s basketball suffered their second loss of the season on Thursday, as they were defeated by No. 2 ranked NAIA DII Southeastern University, 83-66.
The two teams opened up the game with the tight matchup expected, and the Lady Cats held a one-point advantage at the close of the first quarter, 18-17. The second quarter found the Southeastern Fire heating up, as they held the Lady Cats to only 12 points while scoring 24 of their own to take a 41-30 lead into halftime.
Southeastern came out strong again in the third quarter with a 22-14 advantage to up their lead to 19 points heading into the fourth. The Lady Cats kept pace in the fourth with a 22-20 edge, but it was not nearly enough to win the day.
Turnovers were key, as Southeastern capitalized with 28 points off 17 Lady Cat miscues. While Southeastern posted 14 turnovers of their own, CofO was unable to take advantage, scoring only 6 points. Both teams hit 13 three-pointers apiece, but field goal percentages on the day were in favor of the Fire, as they hit 49.2% compared to 35.9% for the Lady Cats. Southeastern also held an advantage on points in the paint, as they scored 30 to the Lady Cats’ 16. The two teams matched up well in rebounding with 37 rebounds each.
Stat leaders for the Lady Bobcats featured: Abby Oliver (14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals), Kelsie Cleeton (13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals), and Cass Johnson (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists). Ashley Forrest came off the bench to go 3-for-4 from beyond the three-point line, and Madi Brethower joined Cleeton with a team-leading 4 assists.
Southeastern was led in scoring by Makenzie Cann and Jaycee Coe with 14 points apiece. Three Fire teammates joined them in double figures: Elsa Paulsson Glantz (14 pts), Marlena Schmidt (12), and Emma Karamovic (12).
The Lady Cats move to 10-2 on the season, while the Fire remain undefeated at 11-0. The Lady Bobcats will be back in action on Friday, as they tip off against Thomas University (Ga.) at 11:00 a.m. Central time.