The Lady Bobcats returned home Friday to host the Coke Classic and celebrated a dominating victory over Cumberland University, 86-49.
The Lady Cats led 31-11 after the first quarter, boosting the score to 49-21 at the half. Cass Johnson, a senior, continued her successful season and completed the first half with 11 points, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Close behind was Abby Oliver, racking up 9 points, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
The third quarter was more evenly matched, with CofO taking a 16-15 advantage. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Cats dominated once again by outscoring the Phoenix, 21-13, for a final score of 86-49.
Six Lady Cats recorded double-digit scoring, led by junior Aleksei Smith with 15 points. Once again, Kelsie Cleeton completed the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. This is Kelsie’s sixth double-double out of seven games thus far this season. Abby Oliver posted 14 points, Cass Johnson and Ashley Forrest put up 12 points apiece, and Annie Noah scored 11.
The Lady Bobcats shot 49.6% from the field, 37.1% from three, and 72.2% from the free-throw line to collect their sixth win of the season.
In Day 2 of the Coke Classic, the Lady Bobcats hosted Bellevue University and came away handing the Bruins their third loss of the season against seven wins, 84-73.
The first half of the game found the two teams battling in a tight matchup, with numerous lead changes and five ties. At the close, the Lady Cats trailed by one point, 42-43. Bellevue shot an impressive 58.6% from the field, hitting five treys, but CofO drained nine three-pointers in fourteen attempts (56.3%), with Abby Oliver and Cass Johnson each hitting three.
The Bruins started out hot in the third quarter, posting a six-point advantage at 58-52 before the Lady Cats went on a 9-2 run, ignited by three consecutive three-pointers put up by Oliver, Johnson and Madi Brethower, that led to a one-point CofO lead. A field goal by Lady Cat Michelle Gabani helped the Cats close out the third quarter up 63-62. In the final period, the Lady Cats opened up with a 7-0 run, while also stepping up defensively. The Cats held the Bruins to just 11 points.
CofO was led by Johnson with 20 points and Oliver with 19. Kelsie Cleeton and Aleksei Smith led the Cats with 5 rebounds apiece, and Brethower and Cleeton each dished five assists. The Bruins, who lead NAIA DII in 3-point field goals made, were outdone by the Lady Cats, as CofO tallied 14 to Bellevue’s six. While Bellevue held the edge in rebounding (36-31), the Lady Cats turned the ball over only nine times compared to 19 by the Bruins.
Saturday’s win improves the Lady Bobcats’ record to 7-1 on the season. College of the Ozarks will have the week off before facing Division I John Brown University (4-0) on November 26th, 5:30 p.m., in Point Lookout, Mo.