CofO women traveled to Milwaukee for the weekend to play in the Cardinal Stritch Classic. Friday evening they faced the host school, ranked #22 in the preseason poll. Cardinal Stritch jumped out to their biggest lead of the evening at 21-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Cats roared back with a strong second quarter, outscoring the Wolves 27-11 and taking a 42-32 halftime lead into the locker room. CofO was led by Abby Oliver, Madi Brethower, and Cass Johnson who were all in double figures at the break, with 12, 11 and ten respectively. CofO shot 47% from the field to 41% for Cardinal Stritch. CofO also nailed 8 of 14 three-point attempts in the first half.
The third quarter saw the Lady Cats stretch their lead to twenty, their largest lead of the game. They outscored the Wolves 23-14 in the third quarter. Cardinal Stritch closed the gap a bit in the fourth quarter and outscored CofO 20-17 for a 82-66 final.
Abby Oliver scored a career high of 23 points on 9-11 shooting, including 5-6 from three-point land. She also threw in a team-high five assists. Madi Brethower continued her sizzling start to the season with 19 points, on 6-13 shooting. She was 3 for 5 from behind the arc. Cass Johnson also nailed three triples and finished with 15 points. She, too, had five assists. Kelsie Cleeton finished with her fourth double double of the season with eleven rebounds and ten points. She also collected three steals.
The Lady Cats shot a season high 49% from the field and 48% from three (13-27). They outrebounded Cardinal Stritch 36-30 and forced twelve turnovers. CofO had 26 assists on 31 made shots, a staggering statistic. Cardinal Stritch shot 39% from the field and 15% from the three-point line.
Saturday, CofO will face #9 St. Francis (IL) in a rematch of last year’s second round NAIA tournament game in which St. Francis upset the Lady Cats 77-63 to finish their season.