Defense paved the way for a 60-37 Lady Cat victory over Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Friday evening. CofO struggled offensively, but managed lock down defense to pull out the win, holding Mt. Mercy to 25% shooting and 37 points.
CofO held a 32-22 halftime advantage despite shooting just 28% from the field. Strong inside play by Lakin Simmerman, hitting 15-19 from the free throw line, and committing just four turnovers helped the Lady Cats overcome just six made field goals in the first half. Simmerman had nine points to lead the Lady Cats at the break. Mt. Mercy shot 27% in the first half and committed 12 turnovers.
Strong defensive presence remained the theme in the second half, as CofO forced ten more turnovers and allowed only six and nine points in the third and fourth period, respectively. CofO's shooting improved slightly in the second half, managing 33% and 4-10 from the three point line. Cass Johnson's back to back three point baskets broke the game open in the third quarter. CofO led by as many as 26 points late in the fourth quarter.
Lakin Simmerman led all scorers with 13 points, a perfect 4-4 from the field and 5-7 from the free throw line. Foul trouble held point guard Hannah Wisdom to just eight minutes, but Kelsie Cleeton ran the point in her absence, scoring 12 points, grabbing a team high nine rebounds, dishing out four assists, and gathering four steals in 31 minutes of play. Brandy Uchtman and Cass Johnson each had eight points. No one scored in double figures for the Lady Mustangs. CofO had 14 assists on 19 made baskets. The Lady Cats were 81% from the free throw line (17-21) and got 30 points from their bench.
CofO travels to former MCAC foe Waldorf College tomorrow for a 1:00 tipoff in the final regular season game for the 2015-16 season. The Lady Cats are now 24-3 on the season