Hot-Shooting Cougars Roll into AMC Championship
COLUMBIA -- The No. 1 ranked Cougar men's basketball team improved to 32-0 on Saturday afternoon with a 97-56 victory over Williams Baptist College in the semifinal round of the American Midwest Conference postseason tournament. With the win, Columbia ties the school record for victories in a single season and also advances to the AMC tournament championship game for the second year in a row.
The Cougars used an 18-2 run midway through the first period on their way to a 57-34 lead at the halftime break. Columbia shot 57 percent from the field in the opening frame and connected on 10 of 20 attempts from behind the three-point line. Junior Brock Walker gave the Cougars a spark off the bench with 10 points off the bench in the first 20 minutes.
Columbia continued to roll in the second half as the Eagles never got closer than 21 points over the final period. The Cougars finished at 51 percent (37 of 72) from the floor, which included a season-high 16 three-point field goals. Columbia received 45 points off the bench, led by 13 from Walker and 11 from freshman Chantel Stanciel, while outrebounding Williams Baptist 48-30 for the game.
Senior Marquette Murrell led six Cougars in double figures on the night with 14 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Dressler added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Derrick Dilworth and Devin Griffin chipped in 12 and 10 respectively. Columbia finished with 27 assists, including a game-high six from Griffin, their most in a game since November 2nd.
The top-seeded Cougars will host No. 2 seed Park University on Tuesday night in the AMC tournament championship game. The Pirates defeated No. 3 seed Missouri Baptist University 76-65 in Saturday's other semifinal matchup. Columbia went 2-0 versus Park during the regular season, including a 73-59 win at home back on January 5th. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Arena of Southwell Complex.