The Columbia College women's basketball team won its American Midwest Conference Tournament opener 71-52 over Illinois-Springfield on Wednesday night at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
In the first half, the No. 2 seeded Cougars (28-3) forced 17 turnovers which resulted in 18 Cougars points and a 34-25 halftime lead. An 11-0 run helped the No. 7 seeded Prairie Stars tie the game at the start of the second half, but the Cougars used a 13-2 run to pull ahead again.
Brittany Taylor led the Cougars with 26 points. Julie Teeple scored 16 and had 13 rebounds.
The Cougars advance to play No. 3 seed McKendree in the tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at the Arena of Southwell Complex.