The sixth-ranked College of the Ozarks women’s basketball team improved to 22-4 with a win at home over a scrappy Cottey College team on Thursday evening, 85-53.
After winning the tip, Lady Bobcat Annie Noah went to work in the paint scoring on the first possession. Noah set the tone offensively for C of O, scoring six points in each of the first two quarters. Despite struggling to stop the interior attack of the Lady Bobcats, the Cottey College Comets hung tough with multiple second effort plays and driving hard to the basket in transition. For the quarter, Cottey shot 9 for 16 (56.3%) from the field, almost entirely on drives to the hoop. Late in the first quarter, after a timeout, Cottey used a backdoor play to take the lead. At the end of one quarter of play, Cottey led 19-15.
In the second quarter, C of O ratcheted up the pressure defensively, forcing 10 turnovers and holding the Comets to 3 for 16 (18.8%) shooting. Cottey attempted to stop the dominant Lady Bobcat post game by doubling the post after the catch. As a result, Abby Oliver took full advantage driving hard to her left and finishing at the basket on two consecutive identical plays to end the half. C of O regained the lead at the break, 32-27.
After halftime, College of the Ozarks was firing on all cylinders. A 9-0 run sparked by an Abby Oliver three-pointer forced a Cottey timeout. The Lady Bobcats did not slow down, as Harper Little drilled a deep three-pointer from the right-wing, to push the lead to 15 points. Just a couple possessions later, Little cleaned up a board for a put-back, part of her 10 points and nine rebound performance, to give C of O a 49-29 advantage. To end the third, Oliver and Little nailed back-to-back triples. C of O outscored Cottey 29-8 in the third quarter alone. While Cottey fought hard every play, it was clear they were gassed. C of O led the game 61-35.
To start the fourth, Kayley Frank and Jordan Wersinger teamed up for a pick-and-roll, which led to a Frank old-fashioned three-point play. A few possessions later, Wersinger drove hard to the paint and gave a drop-off pass to Grace Steiger for two. Wersinger wasn’t done, as she hit a three from the top of the key on the next possession to give C of O a 71-44 advantage. The Bobcats never looked back, finishing the win, 85-53.
For the game, C of O shot 34 for 69 (49.3%) while holding Cottey to 23 for 61 (37.7%). The Lady Bobcats outrebounded the Comets, 44-32 and won the turnover battle 21-15.
College of the Ozarks had four players score in double-figures including Annie Noah (16), Abby Oliver (16), Harper Little (10), and Grace Steiger (10). Annie Noah shared the game high in rebounds with Harper Little, at nine boards each. Noah led the Lady Bobcats with three steals. Ashley Forrest chipped in nine points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Jordan Wersinger led the team with four assists and scored seven points.
For more complete statistics, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/repefey
College of the Ozarks returns to action on February 14 at 5 PM as they will host Lincoln Christian University.