College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats played in the Lincoln College Classic this weekend and picked up two wins, defeating Washington Adventist University, 84-45, and Lincoln College, 74-67.
On Day One, the Lady Cats and Shock played a relatively tight first half, with C of O leading 21-16 at the end of the first quarter. They second quarter was a different story, as the Lady Cats held the Shock to only nine points, while scoring 21 of their own to take a 42-25 lead into the locker room at the half. C of O shot 50% in the half, going 17-34 from the field. Conversely, WAU shot 32.1% (9-18). Point leaders featured Annie Noah (8), Abby Oliver (7), Kayley Frank (5), and Kyra Hardesty (5). Noah hauled down five rebounds; Michelle Gabani and Frank each collected four. The Lady Cats out-rebounded the Shock, 23-16, and turned the ball over only four times versus eight by the Shock.
The Lady Cats continued to put points on the board despite cooling down to a shooting percentage of 39.5 (15-28) in the second half. C of O managed to throw WAU off their game, holding the Shock to only 24% from the field and forcing 13 turnovers in the half, 21 total for the game. The Lady Cats outscored WAU 20-13 in the third and 22-7 in the final period to capture the 84-45 victory.
For the game, Noah recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points, collecting a team-leading 12 rebounds, and adding a team-high four assists. Abby Oliver led all scorers with 14 points, including three treys. Hardesty (12), Frank (11), and Julie Stone (10) also joined in the double-digit scoring. Gabani and Frank aided the rebounding effort pulling down eight and seven, respectively. Stone and Grace Steiger each nabbed a pair of steals, and six Lady Cats blocked one shot apiece.
Although the Lady Cats won by a large margin, Coach Mullis noted, “Washington Adventist made us work for it.”
Day Two of the Classic featured the Lady Bobcats taking on their host, Lincoln College. Both teams entered the game undefeated in A.I.I. conference play for the season.
The teams played a tight first quarter, with C of O holding a small lead most of the period and posting a 23-20 advantage at the close, despite an uncharacteristic five turnovers. In the second quarter, the Lady Cats extended their lead to as many as seven points at the 7:15 mark before the Lynx made a run to pull within two. Gabani and Forrest drained a couple three-pointers to put the Lady Cats up by eight with 3:54 remaining in the quarter. Lincoln rallied back with a 10-0 run to outscore C of O 19-14 in the quarter and take a two-point lead into the locker room at the half (37-39). The third quarter featured a tight matchup, with the Lady Cats outscoring the Lynx 18-15 to carry a one-point lead into the final quarter, 55-54. The fourth quarter was tense, as the score was tied on five occasions. The Lady Cats trailed 63-61 with 3:53 to play, when Steiger scored five unanswered points on back-to-back baskets and a free throw to give the Lady Cats the lead. C of O proceeded to sink free throws to extend their lead and capture their 18th win of the season with a final score of 74-67.
The Lady Cats were led by Oliver with 18 points (5-8 FG, 4-6 3-pt, 4-4 FT). Steiger tallied 14 points, and Forrest scored 11. Forrest, Steiger, and Hardesty each collected five rebounds. Harper Little nabbed 4 steals, Forrest and Aleksei Smith handed off four assists apiece, and Steiger blocked two shots.
The Lady Cats’ season record stands at 18-4. They will head to Southwestern College (Kan.) on Wednesday evening to face the Moundbuilders at 6:00 p.m. The Lady Cats return home to play Haskell University on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 3:00 p.m.