Submitted by Dori Rapinchuk, C of O Sports Information
The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats picked up their eighth consecutive win on Friday afternoon, as they defeated Johnson & Wales University-Denver, 90-68, in the Northern New Mexico A.I.I. Classic.
The Lady Cats and Wildcats started up with a friendly 18-15 first quarter and continued in similar fashion in the 22-18 second quarter, with College of the Ozarks taking a 7-point lead into the locker room. The second half, however, was a different story, as the Lady Cats scored 19 unanswered points to open up the 3rd quarter and cruised to a 22-point win.
Senior center Lakin Simmerman, and sophomore guards Kelsie Cleeton and Cassidy Johnson each scored 16 points to lead the Bobcats’ offense. Cleeton collected 11 rebounds to post her 13th double-double of the season, while Hannah Wisdom added seven boards and Simmerman posted six. Every member of the Lady Cats scored, with 32 of CofO’s points coming off the bench. College of the Ozarks out-rebounded the Wildcats 52-30 and tallied a field goal percentage of 50% to JWU’s 38.7%. Johnson & Wales was led by McCorra Ford, who scored 28 points and gathered 13 rebounds.
Friday’s win brings the #10 NAIA DII Lady Bobcats’ record to 19-4 on the season, as JWU moves to 9-12. The Lady Cats will play in round 2 of the classic on Saturday, as they face host Northern New Mexico College (4-18).
College of the Ozarks sophomore guard Heath Carmichael nailed 5-of-6 from 3-point range on his way to a game-high 19 points as College of the Ozarks topped Johnson & Wales University (Colo.), 78-63 on Friday night in Espanola, New Mexico.
Sophomore Ethan Davidson added another solid effort pouring in 17 points and grabbing 7 rebounds for the Bobcats. C of O, who won the rebounding battle (33-26) over the Wildcats was led by senior Kiefer Starbird’s 9 rebounds. Starbird and freshman DeMon Hyler added to the scoring finishing with 11 and 10, respectively.
C of O, who led 33-32 at halftime, shot 68% from the field in the second half to go along with multiple defensive stops to pull away from JWU.
The Bobcats improve their record to 15-7 overall and 6-0 in A.I.I. play and will play host Northern New Mexico Saturday.