Columbia Splits Opening Games at Cougars vs. Cancer Classic
COLUMBIA - In the first day of the Cougars vs. Cancer Classic presented by Cost Cutters, the Columbia College Lady Cougars defeated Peru State College by a final score of 90-55. Columbia, ranked No. 23 in the latest NAIA top 25, improves to 9-5 on the season. The Cougar men dropped a nail biter to Hastings College, 75-73. The Cougars fall to 11-5 overall.
The Lady Cougars 43 percent shooting percentage and seven baskets from beyond the arc, gave the Lady Cougars a 43-20 lead at the break. The Bobcats connected on just eight of their 39 attempts from the field in the first half. Columbia outscored Peru State 47-35 in the second frame, shooting 56 percent from the field, 60 percent from beyond the arc and 70 percent from the charity stripe, to lead to the 35-point victory. Columbia outrebounded the visiting squad 54-39.
Three Lady Cougars scored in double figures tonight, all dropping in career high numbers. Heather English led the pack with 24 points and eight rebounds. Airelle Eldridge scored 23 points and Julie Teeple netted 22 points. Kirsti Wilkerson was one point away from a double-double, with nine points and 10 rebounds. The senior also dished out five assists and blocked four shots. Freshman guard Tierney Seifert had eight points, seven rebounds and nine assists in the victory.
The Cougars turned a five-point deficit into a ten-point lead in the opening minutes of the first half, however the Broncos were quick to turn the tables back in their favor, tying up the score and going onto a four-point lead at the half, 44-40.
Columbia continued to trail in the contest until deep into the second half. With six minutes left in the game the Cougars were down nine, but a 12-3 run would tie up the ballgame with just over a minute on the clock. Hastings took a two-point advantage seconds later. Devin Griffin would again knot the score up with a made field goal and 27 seconds on the clock. With the score at 73 apiece and Hastings in possession of the ball, the Broncos would take up every last second before getting a final shot off, one that would find its way to the basket as time expired, giving the visiting squad the victory. Hastings held a slight rebounding edge in the contest 32-31.
Jordan Dressler led the Cougars with a double-double, scoring 20 points and 10 rebounds, while dishing out three assists and blocking three shots. Griffin was also in double figures with 10 points and four assists, while Wendell Crowder chipped in nine points.
Action continues on Saturday where the Lady Cougars will take on Campbellsville University at 6:00 PM while the men face off against Cumberland University at 8:00 PM.