C of O Stunned in Final Seconds, Eliminated from NAIA Tournament

by: Scott McCaulley

In a game that College of the Ozarks had the lead for much of the first three quarters, Northwestern College used a 21-9 fourth quarter run then hit a shot at the buzzer to beat the Lady Bobcats 71-70 in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division Two Women’s Basketball Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Lady Bobcats led by as many as 17 points before the Lady Red Raiders started holding C of O to one shot and began the comeback. They closed the gap to 11 at the end of the 3rd quarter and then continued their comeback, grabbing the lead with 1:17 to go. The teams exchanged the lead before the final 10 seconds of the game, the saw Lady Bobcat Alexsi Smith hit a pair of free throws to give C of O the lead. The Lady Bobcats had apparently secured the win when the ball went out of bounce with a second to go before the call was overturned on a video review and Northwestern took advantage of the second chance as an in-bounds pass to Darbi Gustafson resulted in a basket as time expired to deny C of O the win.

The three seniors for C of O Kelsie Cleeton scored 21 while Cassidy Johnson scored 17 as both played their final game for the Lady Bobcats, who finished the season with a 31-4 record.