The Lady Bobcats finished 2-1 in the NAIA DII Women’s Basketball National Championships, falling in Saturday night’s contest to the Saint Xavier University Cougars (Ill.), 69-53.
College of the Ozarks opened up the national tournament by dominating Reinhardt (Ga.), 82-61, in Thursday afternoon’s opening round. On Friday, the Lady Cats played an impressive game against Morningside (Iowa) to pick up an 80-72 victory and pay back an earlier season loss, while also moving into the quarterfinals.
The Cougars opened up Saturday’s game by posting 22 points in the first quarter and holding the Lady Cats to only nine. C of O was able to outscore the Cougars by three in the second quarter to draw within 10 points at the half, but Saint Xavier put up another 22 points in the 3rd and never looked back.
College of the Ozarks’ offense struggled throughout the night, hitting only 3-of-25 from beyond the arc and shooting an unusual 26% from the floor. Their defense fared better, as they were evenly matched in rebounds with the Cougars at 48 apiece and picked eight steals compared to St. Xavier’s six.
Hannah Wisdom led the Lady Cats with 15 points, while also grabbing 3 steals, dishing 4 assists, and pulling down 5 rebounds to close out her collegiate career. Sophomore Kelsie Cleeton collected another double-double by scoring 10 points alongside 15 rebounds. Senior Lakin Simmerman also scored in double figures, tallying 10 points, blocking 1 shot, and grabbing 7 boards.
The Bobcats say farewell to two seniors this season—Hannah Wisdom and Maggie McMenamy, both of whom have made significant contributions to the team in numerous ways.
The Lady Cats close out their season with a record of 28-5 with their sights already being set on a return trip to Sioux City in 2018.