College of the Ozarks travelled to Bellevue, Nebraska to compete in the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bruin Classic on Monday. The Lady Bobcats used balanced scoring and strong defense to defeat the host school Bellevue, 65-56.
Neither team opened the game strong offensively. In the first quarter, C of O managed just 7 makes on 18 field goal attempts (38.9%) and Bellevue countered with a paltry 3 for 11 (27.3%). The Lady Cats were able to string together a 10-2 run at the end of the first to capture an early 16-10 lead.
In the second quarter, the Lady Bobcats had to quickly rely on their depth.
Head Coach Becky Mullis commented, “We were plagued by early foul trouble, but our bench came in and played really well.”
Julie Stone led the way scoring six of her eight points in the second quarter on a pair of three-point makes. The Lady Bobcat bench played the bulk of the second quarter minutes, extending the lead to 31-24 going into halftime. For the half, C of O shot 12 for 30 (40%) from the field, while holding Bellevue to 7 for 24 (29.2%).
College of the Ozarks continued to use defense in the second half to stifle any significant Bruin attack. For the game, C of O caused 21 Bellevue turnovers.
“We had a strong defensive game, holding Bellevue well below their season average. Annie (Noah) and Grace (Steiger) played really well inside,” Coach Mullis stated.
Steiger and Noah each scored in double-digits with 11 and 10 respectively. Annie Noah also led the team with nine rebounds.
In the third quarter, C of O extended their lead to as many as 15 points. Although Bellevue put together a small run at the end of the third frame and into the final quarter, C of O found scoring from a variety of places to finish off the 65-56 win. In all, the Lady Bobcats had ten players play double-digit minutes, with each of those players scoring in the ballgame.
Other notable stat lines for the Lady Bobcats included Abby Oliver finishing with 11 points. Aleksei Smith added nine points, six rebounds, and a pair of assists. Both Kyra Hardesty and Ashley Forrest snatched three steals and three rebounds.
For more complete stats, visit: https://tinyurl.com/vtqpwt2
Coach Mullis concluded, “I’m proud of our team for their effort and execution, especially coming off a tough home loss and a break. Overall, it was a great win against a tough team on the road.”
With the win, C of O improved to 9-3 on the season. Bellevue dropped to 8-6. College of the Ozarks will play their second game of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bruin Classic on Tuesday at 1:00 PM against Grandview University (Neb.).