College of the Ozarks women’s basketball traveled to Hillsboro, Kansas on Friday for the Tabor College Classic. It was the first road trip of the season for the Lady Cats. Traditional power Tabor College entered the game as the #18 preseason ranked team.
The game was a battle of two tough, gritty teams. Both teams came out hot in the first quarter with the Lady Cats clinging to a 21-20 lead. Defense was the theme of the second quarter as C of O tallied 13 points to just 11 for the Lady Blue Jays, for a 34-31 halftime lead.
Each team warmed up again offensively in the third quarter with C of O outscoring Tabor 19-17. The Lady Bobcats stretched their lead to as many as 15 points before Tabor rallied to close the gap to just six at the end of the frame.
An intense fourth quarter came down to the wire, as C of O narrowly held on to a three-point lead with under 20 seconds to play and a Tabor possession. Aleksei Smith pulled down a game saving rebound with four seconds remaining, then calmly sank two free throws to extend the lead to five, the final margin.
The Lady Bobcats shot 51% from the field and 44% from the three-point line for the game, while Tabor shot 37% from the field and 33% from the arc. Both teams took care of the ball with just 10 turnovers for C of O and nine for Tabor. The Lady Blue Jays pulled down 32 rebounds to the Lady Bobcats’ 28. Annie Noah led the Lady Cats 14 points. Aleksei Smith contributed 10. Each grabbed five rebounds. Abby Oliver dished out four assists. C of O scored 32 points in the paint and got 20 points from the bench. It was a well-rounded team win for the Lady Bobcats.
For complete stats, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y4mwx4bc
At 1:00 PM on Saturday, the Lady Bobcats will face a tough Bethany College team, who received votes in the preseason poll.