College of the Ozarks women played on the road tonight in St. Louis, defeating NAIA DI Missouri Baptist University 74-61 to move to 7-1 on the season.
The Lady Cats overcame poor shooting and strong offensive rebounding by the Lady Spartans in the first half, and held a slim 30-28 lead at the break. Lakin Simmerman scored 11 first half points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Lady Cats.
The second half was a different story offensively for CofO, as the Lady Cats heated up and shot 67% from the field in the third quarter to stretch the lead to eleven, 55-44, heading into the fourth quarter. Steady defense held the Lady Spartans to 39% shooting in the third quarter. The Lady Cats stretched their lead to twenty in the fourth quarter before MBU made a late run to close the gap to the final margin of thirteen. CofO finished with a 49-42 rebounding advantage, forced thirteen turnovers, and held the Lady Spartans to 35% shooting.
Leading the Lady Bobcats was center Lakin Simmerman, who posted her first double-double of the season, scoring 21 points, collecting 14 rebounds, and blocking 3. Close behind was Kelsie Cleeton, who tallied her fifth double-double of this early season, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 14 points. Cass Johnson also joined in with double figures by scoring 16 points on the night. Hannah Wisdom and Cleeton each picked up 2 steals and dished 5 assists.
College of the Ozarks women will return home to host the Coke Classic this coming weekend. Games will be held at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, as well as 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Lady Cats will play the second game each day. In addition, the Bobcats will finish up Saturday evening’s play by taking on the Bellevue University Bruins at 5:00 p.m. All games will take place at the Keeter Gymnasium on the College of the Ozarks campus.