Lady Cougars fall to Lubbock Christian in NAIA first round
JACKSON, Tenn. - The Columbia Lady Cougar basketball team saw its season come to an end this morning, falling in the first round of the NAIA National Championships to Lubbock Christian (Texas) University by a score of 76-64. The loss ends Columbia's season at 28-6 and ends an impressive 19-game win streak dating back to January 6th.
Lubbock Christian, which finished the season ranked No. 22 in the final top 25 poll, improves to 22-9. The Lady Chaps move into the second round to face the winner of the first round contest between Evangel (Mo.) University and Bethel (Tenn.) University on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
After an early basket by Lubbock Christian, the Lady Chaps put together a 12-2 run behind six points by freshman Emily Atkins. Columbia tried to cut the deficit, but Lubbock Christian had all the answers, matching the Lady Cougars at every opportunity and then some. At the end of the first 20 minutes of action, Lubbock Christian led 41-33.
The Lady Chaps just never let down as Columbia struggled to get going. The Lady Cougars finished with 21 turnovers that Lubbock Christian converted into 12 points. Shooting below their season average, Columbia did not pull any closer, falling to Lubbock Christian 76-64.
Columbia shot 23 free throws, making 14 of them in the game, while the Lady Chaps were 21-for-28 from the charity stripe. The Lady Cougars shot 38 percent from the field, while the Lady Chaps made 37 percent of their attempts.
Pacing Columbia, which finished the season in the No. 11 spot in the final top 25 rating, was Ashley Fisher with 16 points. Denise Rosario dropped in 14 and Amanda Phillips added 11 points. Rosario pulled down nine rebounds to lead Columbia.