Lady Cougars Overcome Halftime Deficit for 13th Straight Win
COLUMBIA -- The Lady Cougar basketball team, ranked 18th in this week's NAIA Top 25 poll, used a second half comeback to stay unbeaten in American Midwest Conference (AMC) action with a 59-55 win over visiting Williams Baptist (Ark.) College Thursday night. With the victory, Columbia extends its winning streak to 13 games and improves to 17-5 overall and 10-0 in league play.
The Lady Eagles were able to grab a 28-24 lead at the halftime break after a sloppy first half performance from the Lady Cougars. Despite forcing Williams Baptist into 12 turnovers in the opening frame, Columbia was unable to get on track from the field, connecting on just nine of 31 attempts. The Eagles hit at a 33 percent (nine of 27) clip in the first 20 minutes and held a 25-19 advantage on the boards at the break. The halftime score marked the first deficit the Lady Cougars had faced at the half in the past 12 games.
Julie Teeple put Columbia in front 29-28 with a pair of free throws at the 18:35 mark of the second half as the Lady Cougars started the period on a 7-0 run. Williams Baptist would hang around for much of the final 20 minutes, with Columbia stretching their lead out to nine with four minutes remaining. The Lady Eagles pulled within five with 2:19 to play, but would get no closer until a late four-point play closed the gap to four to end the game.
The Lady Cougars finished the game at 34 percent (19 of 56) from the field, but managed to hit 20 of 26 attempts (77 percent) at the charity stripe. Williams Baptist owned a 45-34 rebounding advantage on the night, but could not overcome 24 turnovers that led to 25 points for Columbia.
The Lady Cougars received 41 points from their bench, including a game-high 23 from senior Lily Abreu. Danielle Ingrum and Heather English each finished eight points for Columbia. Julie Teeple pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
The Lady Eagles were led by Cheyenne Childers with 12 points.
The Lady Cougars are off Friday before traveling to AMC foe Park (Mo.) University on Saturday, February 2nd. Columbia will tip-off against the Lady Pirates at 2:00 p.m. in Parkville, Mo. The Lady Cougars defeated the Pirates 75-43 in the two teams' first meeting of the season on January 5th.