The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats (10-5) celebrated New Year’s Eve in Keeter Gymnasium Saturday and closed out 2022 with a 64-47 win over Friends University.
After a slow start for the Lady Cats, Jordan Wersinger, Annie Noah, and Kayley Frank put points on the board to tie the score at 6-6, midway through the opening frame. Wersinger scored again at the 4:25 mark and Taylor Rush followed with a basket and a pair of free throws to put the Lady Cats up 10-6. The Falcons battled back to a 12-11 deficit before the Lady Cats used a Katie Mayes three and a pair of Frank free throws to close out the quarter on a 5-0 run.
Leading 17-11 after the opening quarter, the Lady Cats had snagged the momentum and continued to apply pressure to the Falcons. Buckets by Annie Noah and Taylor Rush sandwiched a Falcons basket to open the second stanza, but offense was hard to come by for both teams. A Wersinger three at the 6:25 mark forced a Falcon timeout, with the Lady Cats lead up to 24-15. With the defense for both teams stepping up, a Katie Mayes jumper with 5:23 remaining would be the only points scored until Kayley Frank drained a pair of free throws at the 4:03 mark. The Falcons closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run, but the Lady Cats still held a 31-22 advantage, heading into the intermission.
The Lady Cats wasted little time getting the offense going in the third quarter. A Wersinger steal led to a Kayley Frank bucket in the opening seconds and the Falcons called a quick timeout. Frank added two more points to her total out of the huddle before the Falcons could answer. Wersinger, Frank, and Noah extended the Lady Cat lead and with 3:38 left in the third, the gap had grown to 40-26. Another Wersinger basket was combined with a bucket inside by Isabel Rohlfing and the lead was 44-31 at the quarter break.
The Falcons refused to go away and came out determined in the fourth quarter. Scoring the first four points of the frame, the Falcons had cut the deficit to single digits and the Lady Cats needed to respond. A Jordan Wersinger jumper at the 9:15 mark provided the answer and a Taylor Rush three followed to thwart the initial challenge of the Falcons. As the clock continued to run, the Lady Cats answered each rally attempt by the visitors. Wersinger and Rush took turns putting points on the board down the stretch and Kayley Frank and Susanna Moran scored to solidify the 64-47 win as time expired.
Kayley Frank, Jordan Wersinger, and Taylor Rush posted double figure scoring with 17, 16, and 16 respectively. Annie Noah dominated the Falcons on the glass and pulled down 17 rebounds to go with her six points in the win. Katie Mayes added five points and Isabel Rohlfing and Susanna Moran tacked on two each to round out the Lady Cat offense.
The Lady Cats will hit the road this weekend for a pair of games in the Northern New Mexico College Classic in Espanola, New Mexico. They will face the host in an 8 PM start on Friday, January 6th and take on Crowley’s Ridge College at 1 PM Saturday, January 7.