On November 1st, the College of the Ozarks’ Lady Bobcats defeated the Ottawa University(KS) Lady Braves by a score of 85-76. Although the Lady ‘Cats led most of the way, the momentum of the game seemed to shift toward Ottawa with less than five minutes remaining. A steal and drive to the basket by Freshman Guard Alice Heinzler rejuvenated the Lady Cats, and although Ottawa hit three 3-pointers in the last few minutes, several fouls on Lady ‘Cats’ drives to the basket hindered Ottawa from capturing the lead.
Alice Heinzler and Emily Walker led the Lady Bobcats in total points with 21 apiece. Defense was definitely a team effort, but Alice Heinzler’s six steals and five defensive rebounds led the way. Ottawa’s Amber Ramsey led the Lady Braves in total points with 18, and Ashley Romig and Shauna McClure were not far behind with 16. Ramsey also led the team with 10 defensive rebounds.
Not only did the Lady ‘Cats celebrate a victory this evening, but they also honored their assistant coach, Morgan Smith, as her #45 jersey was officially hung from the rafters. Smith played for the Lady Bobcats from 2009-2013, and her name is splashed all over the women’s basketball record book. She is the all-time leading scorer (2,646 points) for a career and a season; field goals and free throws made in a career and a season; and scoring average for a season at 24.1 points per game. Smith came to the College of the Ozarks following a state championship at Nixa High School and made an immediate impact as a freshman. She was inserted into the starting lineup and started every game of her illustrious career. Morgan went on to be the three-time MCAC Player of the Year and a two-time NAIA First Team All-American. In addition, in 2012-13, she was named to the WBCA All-American team, which included only 10 players from both NAIA Divisions I and II. She was also selected to the NAIA First Team All-Tournament team in 2011-12, when the Lady Bobcats were the NAIA National Tournament Runner-Up.
All in all, it was a good night for the Lady Bobcats, bringing their early-season record to 2-0.