College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats, currently ranked third in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, finished strong to defeat Clarke University (Iowa) 89-71 in the second round of the A.I.I. Tournament.
The Lady Cats took a four point lead in the first quarter, and Clarke responded in the second quarter with an even matchup at 19 points apiece. Committed to a strong finish, the Cats outscored Clark 21-15 in the 3rd quarter and 28-20 in the 4th, to finish with an 18-point advantage.
The Lady Cats, with a 46.6% field goal percentage scored 27 points off turnovers, 16 second-chance points, and 36 points in the paint. College of the Ozarks turned the ball over 12 times compared to Clarke’s 21. The Cats also outrebounded Clarke 42-31.
Kelsie Cleeton (15 pts., 1 steal,7 reb.) and Brandy Uchtman (14 pts., 2 steals, 4 reb.) led the Lady Cats in scoring. Also contributing with double figures were Maggie McMenamy (12 pts., 2 steals, 3 assists, 8 reb.), Lakin Simmerman (12 pts., 2 steals, 4 reb.), and Hannah Wisdom (11 pts., 2 steals).
The Bobcats advance to play Haskell University in the A.I.I. Finals Sunday at 4:00 p.m. and earn an automatic berth in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa, March 9-15.
Picture by John Hyatt - Kelsie Cleeton