On the road for their third trip in five days, the College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats (3-0) overcame multiple obstacles Saturday afternoon and brought home a convincing win, 87-59 over the Lincoln Christian Red Lions (3-7).
Offense was not a friendly part of the game for either team early on as Lincoln Christian struggled from the field and C of O battled early turnovers. The Lady Cats were able to jump into the scoring column first with a couple of baskets from Annie Noah. The 4-0 lead would be short-lived however, as LCU’s Makayla Rosenbery burst onto the scoring scene and propelled the Red Lions into the lead with six straight points. The Lady Cats answered with sophomore forward, Kayley Frank. With 7:31 remaining in the quarter, Frank took the ball hard to the paint and scored the first two points of her career high 17 on the day. Frank used the next two Lady Cat possessions to show her versatility and her range. With 6:43 to play in the quarter, she drained a long three from the left side to give the Lady Cats a 9-6 lead. 30 seconds later Frank went back inside with a power move and two off the glass. The next couple minutes would be quiet for both teams on offense. Madi Braden, Grace Steiger, and Katie Mayes would get into the scoring column along with Kyra Hardesty, who dialed it in from long range with a couple of threes before the break. After one quarter, the Lady Cats led 23-16.
The Red Lions rattled off five unanswered points to start the second quarter and it was quickly 23-21. The Lady Cats, despite a couple of early turnovers, were able to hold off the hot shooting Red Lions and maintain a three point lead throughout the quarter. Kyra Hardesty’s second three, put the Lady Cats ahead, 39-34 at the half.
The third quarter looked eerily similar to the previous two frames until the 6:00 mark. Jordan Wersinger then hit a three to give the Lady Cats their largest lead of the game, 50-43. Kayley Frank, Annie Noah, and Grace Steiger would team up with Wersinger over the next 3:30 to go on an 8-0 run for the Lady Bobcats. After a basket by LCU, Katie Mayes would score the next five points for the Lady Cats, followed by a Kayley Frank free throw and the Lady Cats were up 65-52 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was all about taking control on both ends of the floor for the Lady Cats. With 5:30 gone in the quarter, the Red Lions had yet to score, while the Lady Cats had poured in another 16 points to lead 81-52. The Lady Cats would tack on six more points over the final 4:30 but the Red Lions could only muster seven points by the time the buzzer sounded.
After the win, Coach Mullis stated, “I’m proud of our team for gutting out a win today. With just a couple weeks of practice and our third road game in five days, we found a way to win. I liked our balanced scoring again today, with five players in double figures. Katie Mayes was especially impressive with her first double-double in just the third game of her career. Kayley Frank was solid and led us today with her ability to score in multiple ways to reach her career high of 17 points.”
Along with Kayley Frank’s 17, Kyra Hardesty added 14 (4/5 from 3pt.), Madi Braden – 13 (3/6 from 3pt.), Katie Mayes – 12 (10 Rebounds), Annie Noah – 12, Grace Steiger – 8, Jordan Wersinger – 7, and Michelle Gabani – 4.
The Lady Cats will have a few days off before hitting the hardwood again later next week.