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Lady Cats Take Down Mustangs

Feb 06, 2024

#2 Taylor Rush

#22 Kayley Frank

Conway, AR – The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats hit the road Tuesday night in search of their fifth straight victory. Traveling to Conway Arkansas, the Lady Cats were set to face the Mustangs of Central Baptist College.

The Mustangs opened the scoring in the first quarter, and they would hold a slim advantage in the early going. A pair of Kayley Frank free throws were followed by layups by Blythe Benefield and Logan Jones and the Mustangs held a 7-6 lead with 6:39 left in the opening frame. Kayley Frank drilled a mid-range jumper on the next possession and the Lady Cats took their first lead. The Lady Cat defense took center stage over the next 3:42 and a Logan Jones three was combined with four points from Susie Moran to bump the Lady Cat lead to 15-7. A Mustang three broke the silence for the home team and another basket cut the gap to 15-12. Taylor Rush stopped the mini run with a three, but a pair of threes by the Mustangs knotted the score at 18. With the quarter winding down, a Logan Jones three and a Susie Moran layup closed the scoring to send the Lady Cats to the first break leading 23-18.

The Mustangs put the first points on the board in the second quarter before Abbey Linville drained a deep three to provide the answer. Another Mustang basket cut the advantage, but a Lady Cat run was about to ensue. With a pair of Kayley Frank baskets, another pair of Linville treys, an Avery Arnold free throw, and two Taylor Rush threes, the Lady Cats erupted for 17 unanswered points. The Mustangs took a timeout, but the damage had been done. The Lady Cats held a commanding 43-22 lead with 3:59 remaining in the half and the Mustangs were searching for offense. A pair of Mustang threes out of the huddle returned some life to the home team, but a Logan Jones three provided the answer. The Mustangs continued to battle through the final 2:16 of the quarter as the Lady Cats fought to hold off their challenges. Points by Benefield, Moran, and Frank maintained the advantage as time ran down and the Lady Cats took a 53-38 lead to the intermission.

Blythe Benefield set the tone in the third quarter hitting a bucket and a deep three to bump the Lady Cat lead. A Mustang basket slowed the pace and the defense for both teams took over. Neither team would score again until a Mustang basket found the bottom of the net at the 5:49 mark, and Taylor Rush answered with a three to get the Lady Cat offense going again. CBC was not ready to concede, and a three ball was followed by a layup to make the point. The teams traded points over the next 4:15 and Frank, Moran, and Rush carried the Lady Cat offense. An Avery Arnold layup with time expiring gave the Lady Cats a 74-53 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

The Lady Cats primary opponent would be the clock in the final stanza. While continuing to answer the Mustang challenges, the Lady Cats would need to run the clock down as well. The Mustangs would continue to battle in the final frame, but the Lady Cats continued to answer. Logan Jones and Kayley Frank added points to the board as C of O used as much time as they could on each possession. The Mustangs slowly chipped away at the deficit but with each effort, the Lady Cats responded. A Blythe Benefield three at the 4:05 mark put the Lady Cats up 83-67 and the defense stepped up to keep the Mustangs in check. Frank, Rush, and Keara Mattingley closed out the scoring for the Lady Cats and a Mustang three in the final seconds finished off the contest. The Lady Cats secured the 87-72 win for their fifth straight and 19th on the season.

Kayley Frank led all scorers with 19 points and Taylor Rush added 17 on 5-98 shooting from beyond the arc. Susie Moran logged another double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds and Logan Jones and Blythe Benefield poured in 13 and 12 points respectively. Abbey Linville added nine points, Avery Arnold chipped in three, and Keara Mattingley tacked on one.

The Lady Cats return home to face Crowley’s Ridge College this Saturday in a 1 PM matchup. IT will be autograph day for both the Lady Cats and the Bobcats, and the teams will be available to sign immediately following their games.