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Lady Cats Sweep Through Kansas Tilt

Dec 16, 2023

#14 Logan Jones

The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats opened the semester break with a pair of games in Kansas and returned home with some Christmas cheer.

C of O vs Friends University – Friday, December 15
Coming off a win at home against Missouri Baptist University a week ago, the Lady Bobcats hit the road for a weekend tilt in Kansas. Friday night’s contest took the Lady Cats to Wichita to face Friends University.

The Falcons jumped on the board first with a three and Susie Moran provided the quick Lady Cat answer. Logan Jones drained a three to give the Lady Cats the lead, then hit a jumper to bump up the score. The Falcons battled back but the Lady Cat attack was too strong in the early going. Logan Jones was dominating the Falcons on her own as she added 10 more points as the first quarter progressed. Blythe Benefield added a pair of free throws, and a Kayley Frank basket boosted the lead to 21-7 with time running down. A Falcon basket cut into the lead, but the Lady Cats closed the quarter with a 21-9 advantage.

The Falcons came to life to start the second stanza and hit a basket and a three to cut the Lady Cat lead. Another basket for the home team cut the gap to 21-16 before a Logan Jones bucket broke the Lady Cat silence. The teams traded baskets with an Abbey Linville three finding the bottom of the net to keep the Lady Cats in control. The Falcons continued to battle and another dry spell for the Lady Cats gave them the opening they needed. With 3:33 remaining in the second quarter, a Falcon basket cut the lead to 26-24 and the early gap had been all but erased. Susie Moran scored inside to get the Lady Cats back on the board, but a Falcon basket trimmed the lead again as time ran down. C of O was unable to score on their final possession and the buzzer for the intermission sent them to the locker room clinging to a 28-26 advantage.

Things got even more interesting as the third quarter began. Neither team would score until a Falcon three landed at the 8:52 mark to give them their first lead of the game. Another basket increased the gap before an Abbey Linville three tied the score at 31-31. A pair of Falcon threes was followed by a Kayley Frank basket, but Friends answered with another from behind the arc. The Lady Cats were trailing 40-33 and needed to respond. Logan Jones answered the call with a bucket, but the Falcons continued to apply pressure. The Lady Cats began to claw their way back, but the Falcons were determined to hold them off. Kayley Frank drained a three to start the rally and then hit another basket inside. Trailing 44-40, Avery Arnold connected from long range and things were heating up. A Falcon basket was answered by another Kayley Frank score and the gap was cut to 46-45 at the end of the third.

The Lady Cats had built some momentum to end the third period and Abbey Linville picked it up in the fourth. Her three splashed home with 9:08 left to play and the Lady Cats were back in front. Susie Moran added a pair of free throws and a bucket before Logan Jones got back in on the scoring action to add one of her own. The 9-0 run for the Lady Cats had them back in business and the Falcons needed a timeout to regroup. Kayley Frank scored out of the huddle and the teams began trading baskets. The Falcons needed stops and the Lady Cats refused to oblige. Baskets by Jones and Linville were added to free throws by Moran and Jones to boost the Lady Cat lead to 67-57 with 1:54 left to play. The Falcons began to foul, and Moran, Jones, and Linville all stepped to the line to seal the win. With free throws as their final run of offense, the Lady Cats pulled away and took the contest 72-59.

Logan Jones had a career night pouring in 28 points on 11-18 shooting and 3-6 from beyond the arc. Kayley Frank added 15 points and eight rebounds, Abbey Linville tacked on 13, and Susie Moran piled up another double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Avery Arnold chipped in three points and Blythe Benefield tacked on two points in the win.

C of O vs McPherson College – Saturday, December 16
The Lady Cats continued their Kansas swing by heading over to McPherson, Kansas to take on the McPherson College Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs jumped on the board first, but a Blythe Benefield basket was followed by a Logan Jones jumper, and the Lady Cats took an early lead. That would be all the scoring by either team for the next several minutes as defense took center stage. Benefield drained a pair of free throws, Kayley Frank got on the board with a layup, and Jones sank two from the charity strip to put the Lady Cats up 10-5. The Bulldogs continued to battle and with 2:39 remaining in the opening frame, the Lady Cats held a narrow 10-7 advantage. Kayley Frank added four more points and Benefield drove to the hole for two. The Bulldogs were held to only one more basket, which came as time expired in the quarter. The Lady Cats held a 16-9 lead at the quarter break.

The Bulldogs scored to open the second quarter scoring but Taylor Rush, returning from an injury, answered with a three on the first Lady Cat possession. The teams were cold until the 8:02 mark when McPherson scored, and Jada Henry responded with a three. Another Bulldog three was offset by a Benefield layup and another Rush three before the defense for both teams took over again. The teams would scatter a couple of baskets, but neither could take advantage of the defensive stops. Susie Moran broke into the scoring column with 2:25 remaining in the half and the Lady Cat lead was 31-20. Seven unanswered points by the home team to close out the half made things interesting, but the Lady Cats still held a 31-27 lead at the intermission.

The Bulldogs scored first to cut into the lead further, but Logan Jones and Susie Moran responded with six straight points to rebuild a slight cushion. The Bulldogs were determined to battle back and with a run of their own, they took a 38-36 lead. With 4:27 showing on the clock, Kayley Frank tied it with a layup, but the Bulldogs were not finished. The teams traded jabs and with 1:50 left to play in the quarter, an Avery Arnold three cut the Falcon lead to 45-44. The Bulldogs continued to hold off the Lady Cat challenges and led 48-44 with :39 showing on the clock. Avery Arnold connected from deep again to cut the deficit to 48-47 and her three at the buzzer gave the Lady Cats a 50-48 lead, and a burst of momentum.

Now leading 50-48, the Lady Cats needed to hold off the home team for the final 10 minutes. Avery Arnold now had a boost of confidence and she picked up where she left off in the previous quarter. Two more from long range opened the scoring and Abbey Linville drained a three to add to the lead. The Bulldogs responded with a three of their own, and a pair of free throws, but the Lady Cat lead had grown to 59-53. The teams traded baskets over the next several possessions, but the Bulldogs were charging back. With 5:44 remaining, the Bulldogs regained a 62-61 advantage and grabbed ahold of the momentum. Logan Jones provided a quick answer with a basket, and free throws by Frank and Moran provided a little space. Defense took over again on both sides, and with 2:15 remaining, Avery Arnold stepped up again and splashed home another trey. While the Lady Cat defense was holding strong, a Benefield basket bumped the lead to 71-62 and with :34 remaining, a pair of Frank free throws sealed the 73-62 win.

Avery Arnold led the way with a game high 18 points, connecting on six threes in the contest. Kayley Frank followed with 17 points and eight rebounds. Blythe Benefield contributed 12 points, Logan Jones added 10, Taylor Rush chipped in a pair of threes for six points, Susie Moran scored four points but continued to dominate the glass with 10 rebounds. Jada Henry and Abbey Linville closed out the scoring with three points each.

The Lady Cats will return to action the weekend after Christmas when they head to the Bellevue University Classic in Bellevue, Nebraska.