College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats, ranked NAIA DII #7, defeated #17 Haskell Indian Nations University on Saturday afternoon in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd at Point Lookout, Mo. by a score of 88-81.
The first period saw the Indians hit four three-pointers, Cerissa Honena-Reyes posting three herself, and a field goal shooting percentage of 53.3 to close out the quarter with a 4-point lead at 23-19. The Cats were able to hit some threes of their own in the second quarter, as Hannah Wisdom went 3-for-3 from the arc and Kelsie Cleeton picked up two, as well. Freshman guard Cass Johnson drained a late-quarter trey for a 43-42 lead at the half.
The Lady Cats struggled to retain their lead after the break and trailed by as many as 8 points with 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. However, a 13-0 run by the Cats gave them a lead to close the 3rd quarter at 66-58, and they held steady throughout the fourth quarter to capture the win.
Leading all scorers was Haskell’s Tyler Sumpter with 21, followed by teammate Kortney Meat with 20. The Lady Cats continued with their trend of double-digit scoring among the team, as Brandy Ucthman led her team with 19 points and was joined by Kelsie Cleeton (15), Hannah Wisdom (13), and Cass Johnson (12).
The Indians and Cats each drained 11 three-pointers and posted solid field goal percentages at 51.8 and 48.3 respectively. Both teams were neck-and-neck in rebounding (28-27, advantage CofO) and steals (10-11, advantage Haskell), but Haskell turned the ball over 24 times to Ozarks’ 18, which the Lady Cats utilized to pick up 25 points. College of the Ozarks garnered 19 points from the charity strip while Haskell posted 12.
Saturday’s victory brings the Lady Bobcats’ record to 15-3 with Haskell’s record moving to 15-4. The Lady Cats will take to the road this coming week as they face Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa on January 23rd.