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Lady Cats Roll Over Pioneers

Feb 10, 2024

#10 Susie Moran

Point Lookout, MO – Looking to extend their current win steak, the College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats returned to Keeter Gymnasium to host the Pioneers of Crowley’s Ridge College. The Lady Cats defeated the Pioneers 90-74 in Paragould, AR on January 6 and they were looking for a repeat performance at home.

Kayley Frank opened the scoring and Blythe Benefield and Susie Moran added to the point total to give the Lady Cats a 10-6 lead. A pair of Lady Cat fast break buckets bumped the lead to 14-6 and the Pioneers took a timeout with 4:57 remaining in the opening frame. The Pioneers drained a three out of the huddle, but a Benefield drive for two provided the response on the other end. A Moran bucket was backed up by a Logan Jones trey and the Lady Cat lead grew to 21-9, with 2:43 left in the opening frame. Keara Mattingley scored a pair of baskets inside and sank a free throw to offset a Pioneer basket and the Lady Cats took a 27-11 lead to the first quarter break.

The Pioneers put the first two points on the board in the second quarter and Mattingley picked up where she left off with a bucket to answer. The Pioneers put together a run, and the lead was cut to 32-26, before a Susie Moran putback broke the string. The teams traded points over the next several minutes and the Pioneers had bounced back from the early deficit. Moran and Taylor Rush helped maintain the Lady Cat advantage but with time expiring, the lead had been cut to 41-38 at the intermission.

Blythe Benefield sank a free throw to open the scoring in the second half and Susie Moran followed with a basket to bump the Lady Cat lead. Logan Jones capped a 5-0 run before the Pioneers broke through with a basket inside. Moran scored again and the Lady Cat lead was 48-40 with 6:53 left in the third. A Pioneer free throw found the bottom of the net before a Logan Jones assist to Taylor Rush boosted the lead. Logan Jones took her turn on the next trip and the Pioneers were forced to take a timeout. The cushion had grown to 52-41 and the Lady Cats were looking to pull away. Logan Jones drained a deep three out of the huddle and then connected on another fastbreak basket to grow the lead. A pair of threes by Kayley Frank and Logan Jones added to the total and Moran connected on a free throw and a two to boost the lead to 68-43. The defense continued to get stops and the Lady Cats were in control. Keara Mattingly picked up her first points of the second half and the Lady Cats closed out the quarter leading 71-43.

The Lady Cats had 10 minutes standing between them and win number 20 on the season, but they would have to finish strong. The Pioneers demonstrated their ability to come back during their second quarter run and the Lady Cats were well aware. Moran, Mattingley, Frank, and Avery Arnold kept the pressure coming and the Pioneer challenges were met with stiff opposition. Leading 85-46, the Lady Cats were not allowing the Pioneers to pick up any momentum. Abbey Linville broke into the scoring column at the 4:30 mark then dished an assist to Avery Arnold on the next possession. Lauren Jones jumped on the board with a basket and the Lady Cat lead was 91-50 with 1:59 left to play. The Pioneers continued to battle but the Lady Cat attack was too much to overcome. Lauren Jones closed out the scoring for the Lady Cats and the buzzer sounded with the board showing 93-52 in favor of the home team.

Susie Moran piled on a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds while Logan Jones added 18 points. Keara Mattingley contributed 13 points, Kayley Frank tacked on 11, and Blythe Benefield chipped in 10. Avery Arnold tacked on five, Lauren Jones four, Taylor Rush three, and Abbey Linville added two points in the win.

The Lady Cats will be in action at home for senior day on Saturday, February 17 when they host Haskell Indian Nations University in a 1 PM contest.