Lady Bobcats Net Coach Mullis 200th Win
With three seconds on the clock and the score tied at 69, the Lady Bobcats were set to inbound the ball on the far sideline. Oklahoma Wesleyan had just hit a three to tie the game and it looked as if the game may be headed to overtime. Coach Mullis pulled her team in for a timeout and set up a final play. The ball is inbounded and finds its way into the hands of Jordan Wersinger. Wersinger dribbles off of a high screen near the top of the key and goes hard to the basket. 3…2…1…and Wersinger releases the ball for a running layup down the middle of the lane. The ball goes off the board and in and the Lady Cats escape with a thrilling finish and two point win over the Lady Eagles, 71-69.
The game did not start as exciting for the Lady Bobcats as Danae Goodwin came out on fire for the Eagles. Hitting shots from inside and out, Goodwin propelled her team to a 13-4 run to start the game and it appeared that a long night was underway for the Lady Cats. A pair of free throws by Kayley Frank at the 5:09 mark broke through for the Lady Cats. A basket by Katie Mayes, a three and two free throws by Madi Braden, and baskets by Jordan Wersinger and Grace Steiger, and the Lady Bobcats had put together a 13-4 run of their own to end the opening frame.
All knotted up at 17 to start the second quarter and the stage had been set for more back and forth action the rest of the game. Jordan Wersinger put the Lady Cats on top to start the quarter but OKWU answered with a couple of baskets of their own. The Eagles would hold a slim lead until the 3:27 mark when a basket by Annie Noah evened the score at 26 apiece. The two teams traded baskets the rest of the way and the score was tied at 32 to end the half.
Both teams came out in the second half determined not to flinch. Trading baskets became the norm over the next ten minutes. Neither team would lead by more than two points until a Kyra Hardesty three put the Lady Cats ahead 43-38 with 4:17 remaining in the third. The Eagles, however, would answer with a 9-2 run and lead 47-45. The last 1:54 of the quarter would see much of the same and the score was tied 52-52 after three.
The fourth quarter featured both teams jockeying for position and trying to pull away. A Madi Braden three with 5:42 left in the game lifted the Lady Cats to a seven point advantage and the momentum to pull away. The Eagles however, were not quite ready to give in. With another 9-0 run, the momentum had shifted and so had the lead, 63-61 Eagles, with 3:42 to play. A Jordan Wersinger three would put the Lady Cats on top 64-63, followed by another stretch of trading baskets. The Lady Cats held a slim three point lead, 69-66, with 17 second left in regulation. With the clock running down, the Eagles’ Antonia Porter hit a three from the right side to tie the score at 69, with three seconds left for the Lady Cats to work with. Enter Jordan Wersinger, the screen, the drive, and the layup off the glass as time runs out…and that’s a Lady Cat Win, 71-69!
After the game, Coach Mullis commented, "I'm very proud of our team tonight for finding a way to win over a great shooting team like Oklahoma Wesleyan. Playing on the road in just our second game of the year, second game in three days, against a team playing in their 20th game is a tall task. Our ladies gutted out the victory in dramatic fashion. We still have a lot of work ahead of us and this team is willing to do the work in order to uphold the standards of being Ozarks."
The win, gives Coach Becky Mullis her 200th as the head coach of the Lady Bobcats. In seven years and two games, Coach Mullis has averaged close to 28 wins a season to reach the milestone.
On winning number 200, Coach Mullis states, "This win is one I will cherish forever, mainly because of this group of ladies I'm fortunate to coach. In the midst of a challenging year, they've remained positive, haven't given in, and truly value one another. They deserve this recognition more than me. I've been blessed to coach amazing, talented young women over the course of my eight years. They're the reason for the success of our program. I share this milestone with them and I thank them for wearing OZARKS across their chest and continuing our great tradition."
Congratulations Lady Bobcats and Coach Mullis! Many more to come from an awesome coach, leading an awesome program.