College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats recorded their first win of the season, topping Sterling College (Kan.), 87-69, in Day Two of the Lady Bobcat Classic in Point Lookout, Mo.
Following a loss against NAIA DII No. 2 ranked Southeastern University on Friday evening, the No. 3 ranked Lady Cats rebounded on Saturday afternoon to move to 1-1 on the season.
The first quarter of the game against the Sterling found the two teams battling back and forth to secure the advantage. Trailing 14-15, the Lady Cats went on a 7-point run, to take a 21-15 lead, thanks to a three-pointer by Abby Oliver and two baskets netted by Grace Steiger. C of O led 23-19 at the close of the period.
In the second quarter, the Lady Cats opened up with a hot hand, taking a quick 29-19 advantage on two points and a free throw apiece from Michelle Gabani and Jordan Wersinger. Sterling responded to draw the score within six points at 31-25, but C of O finished the frame by outscoring the Warriors 21-9 to extend their lead to 52-34 at the half.
C of O shot 51.4% in the first half, making 19 of 37 shots. The ladies also took cake of business on the defensive side, tallying 19 rebounds and four steals, while holding Sterling to 15 points in the second quarter. Oliver led all scorers at the half with 16 points, going 5-8 from the field, 3-5 from beyond the arc. Steiger was 5-for-6, tallying 10 points. Sterling was held to a 41.4 shooting percentage, with no 3-point makes.
The third quarter opened with a basket by Sterling, followed by four treys from Lady Cats Ashley Forrest, Kyra Hardesty, and Oliver (2). However, C of O began to struggle a bit, as they turned the ball over and were outscored in the frame by Sterling 15-22. In the fourth period, the Lady Cats righted the ship and tallied 20 points, while holding Sterling to 13 to close out the game, 87-69.
The Lady Cats shot 50% (33-of-66) from the field, draining 10 of 22 three-pointers on the day. Four Lady Bobcats posted double figures in the game: Oliver (19), Steiger (17), Gabani (12), and Aleksei Smith (11). Stieger led the team with 6 rebounds, while Smith, Forrest, and newcomer Jordan Wersinger each added five. Hardesty and freshman Kayley Frank swiped three steals apiece.
College of the Ozarks will have a break in regular-season action until November 5, when they host Evangel University at 5:30 p.m. In the meanwhile, the Lady Cats will host their Second Annual Angela Mallonee Garbee Lady Cat Alumni Game on Friday evening, November 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Keeter Gymnasium on the College campus.