CofO women faced 9th ranked St. Francis (IL) in the second day of the Cardinal Stritch Classic in Milwaukee. The Lady Cats looked to avenge a loss to St. Francis in the second round of the NAIA DII Championship tournament last spring.
It was a tightly contested first half, which featured twelve lead changes and three ties. St. Francis led after one quarter 14-13, but CofO roared back to outscore St. Francis by six and take a 33-28 lead into halftime. Abby Oliver led all scorers with 12 points. Cass Johnson had ten. Both teams shot well from the field; 52% for CofO and 48% for St. Francis. CofO held a slight rebounding advantage (13-12).
Slow play with long possessions continued in the second half. Stifling defense by the Lady Cats held St. Francis to just eight third quarter points, while scoring 16 of their own to grow the lead to 49-36 at the end of the third quarter. The lead was stretched to as many as eighteen early in the fourth quarter before St. Francis pulled to within eleven midway through the quarter. The Lady Bobcats hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win with a final score of 67-54.
CofO shot 49% from the field, while St. Francis shot 46%. CofO struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 63% (17-27). The Lady Bobcats finished with a 28-24 rebounding advantage. Cass Johnson led all scorers and tied a career high with 27 points. She was 8-13 from the field, including 4 for 7 from behind the arc. Kelsie Cleeton followed with 15 points and Abby Oliver had 13. Johnson led with seven rebounds. Cleeton had four assists to lead Ozarks. CofO outscored the Saints in the paint 26-20 and had 17 points off of turnovers to ten for St. Francis. The Lady Bobcats had 12 assists on 22 made shots.
Next up for the Lady Bobcats (5-0) is Lyon College. CofO will travel to Batesville on Tuesday for a 5:30 tipoff vs NAIA DI #20 Lyon College