After a week of bitter cold temperatures, the College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats turned up the heat in Keeter Gymnasium Thursday night. The Lady Cats jumped out to an early lead and cruised to an 85-35 win over the visiting Patriots from Baptist Bible College.
Annie Noah and Jordan Wersinger opened the scoring for the Lady Cats and it was quickly 6-2. Michelle Gabani added a basket to make it 8-2 and the race was on. The Lady Cats took care of business on defense with repeated stops and forced turnovers leading to baskets on the offensive end. By the end of the first quarter, the Patriots had only managed to put six points on the board and the Lady cats led 26-6.
The Patriots settled in during the second quarter and held their ground. With Chloe Landsdown and Kaitlyn King leading the charge, the Patriots broke through early in the second quarter and outscored the Lady Bobcats 10-7. The Lady Cats however, continued to answer and by the end of the first half, led 41-23.
The third quarter was all Lady Bobcats and they began to build a bigger gap between them and the visitors from Springfield. Wersinger and Noah teamed up to start the scoring again in the second half and it was quickly a 51-27 lead. Kayley Frank joined in and sank a three from the top of the key and Katie Mayes established herself in the paint with points and rebounds throughout the quarter. Grace Steiger and Madi Braden stepped in to add to the lead and by the end of the third quarter the Lady Cats had added 24 to the Patriots six and it was 65-29.
The fourth quarter was much the same as Steiger, Mayes, Frank, Jones, and Hardesty added to their point totals and the Lady Cat lead. The Patriots were not able to keep pace and another 20-6 quarter took the Lady Cats to the final buzzer and an 85-35 win.
Head Coach Becky Mullis was pleased with the performance of her team and stated, “I’m proud of our kids and the way they stepped on the court ready to take care of business. We had solid effort from everyone and it showed in the results we achieved on both ends of the floor. We really challenged our players this week and I’m proud of how they responded.”
The Lady Cats were led by Jordan Wersinger with 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Katie Mayes logged another double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Annie Noah added 14, Grace Steiger chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, Madi Braden added eight, Stevi Jones put in seven, Kyra Hardesty six, Kayley Frank five, and Michelle Gabani two.
The Lady Cats will be back in action Friday as they host John Brown University in a 2:00 start.