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Forrest Torches Nets in Big Lady Bobcat Win

Feb 01, 2020

Lady Bobcat Ashley Forrest surveys the defense.
#10 -- Ashley Forrest. Photo: Larry Plumlee

College of the Ozarks women’s basketball defeated Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.) in runaway fashion on Saturday, 83-42.  With the win, C of O improves to 20-4 on the season.


Lately, the Lady Bobcats have started games with a focus on pounding the ball inside.  Saturday was no exception, after winning the tip, a quick pass from Abby Oliver to Annie Noah led to a drop-step bucket. 


Haskell quickly adjusted their zone defense to crowd entry passes and double the post, which opened up the Lady Cats guard play.  Kyra Hardesty knocked down a set three-pointer from the wing, followed by an Abby Oliver floater to force a Haskell timeout and give C of O an early 7-3 lead.


After the timeout, C of O spread the zone out to free-up passes back to Noah.  Hardesty quickly fed the post.  After a double-team, Annie kicked it back out for a Kyra Hardesty three-pointer, one of her three triples on the evening.  On the subsequent possession, C of O used the same formula.  However, Haskell did a better job recovering to Hardesty.  A quick reversal pass and a deep bomb from Ashley Forrest gave C of O a 13-5 lead.  The shot was the first of five straight makes and a total of 6 for 7 from downtown for Forrest on the evening, giving her a game high 18 points.  Before the end of the quarter, Haskell started to show some life, cutting the lead to 19-13.


To start the second quarter, Haskell built some momentum, forcing a C of O turnover due to a shot-clock violation, eventually cutting the lead to one, 19-18.  Lady Bobcat Harper Little squelched the run with a steal followed by a three-pointer.  Once again, Little impacted the game in a variety of ways off-the-bench, with six points, three steals, and five boards on the night.


To close out the half, Ashley Forrest hit back-to-back trays, giving C of O a 36-22 lead at the break.  For the first half, C of O shot 13 for 29 (44.8%) from the field, including 9 for 18 (50%) from distance.  Haskell, hindered by solid Lady Bobcat closeouts, managed just 8 for 28 (28.6%) from field goal range.


To open the second half, the Lady Bobcats wasted no time getting back to work.  After back-to-back three-pointers from Abby Oliver and Aleksei Smith, the C of O defense forced a Haskell shot clock violation.  College of the Ozarks immediately capitalized when Kyra Hardesty drove left and pitched to Ashely Forrest for three.  C of O would go on to complete a 17-0 run, breaking the back of Haskell.  At the end of third quarter, the Lady Bobcats led 58-27.


In the fourth quarter, Julie Stone took over.  Stone, scored on four straight Lady Bobcat possessions, finishing the game with 12 points.  Once again, the C of O bench outscored the opposing bench, 36-21.  C of O would never look back, finishing the win, 83-42.


For the game, C of O shot 31-63 (49.2%) including a torrid pace from distance, 14 for 28.  Much of the offensive efficiency could be a credit to the Lady Bobcat ball movement, as the Cats racked up 22 assists.  The Lady Cats grabbed 47 rebounds to 32 Haskell boards.  C of O won the turnover battle as well, 17-12.


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College of the Ozarks returns to action on the road for a women’s and men’s double-header against Crowley’s Ridge (Ark.) on February 4, beginning at 5 PM.