COLUMBIA - The Cougars second half game play has consistently shut down Park University.
The Columbia College women’s basketball team may have had a slow start on Friday, but by the second half Park University was fighting to maintain a respectable deficit. The Cougars out scored the Pirates 10-2 within the first four minutes of the second half en route to a 76-48 win.
Center Denise Rosario wreaked havoc on the Pirates' defense, scoring a game-high 19 points. Nearly every time Rosario received the ball she faked left, turned right and picked apart the defense for a score.
“When I get the ball, I just focus on the basket,” Rosario said,” I don’t notice the players around me, it’s all about making the shot.”
However, Rosario was not the only Cougar picking apart the opposition.
Guard Kayla Rice, who had rolled her ankle in practice earlier Friday, only scored four points — well below her 11 per game average — but she lead the game with 6 assists.
Aside from the occasional limp in the second half, it was difficult to tell whether Rice’s ankle affected her play. She moved with her usual finesse around the perimeter, waiting for a weak point in the defense to exploit.
“It hurt, but no matter what I was going to push through it,” Rice said. “There was nothing I could do about it.”
The Cougars — whose aggressive style of play has been a hallmark since the beginning of the season — face William Woods in the American Midwest Conference Championship Monday at 7 p.m. in the Arena of the Southwell Complex. The Cougars defeated William Woods 80-73 when the teams last met on Feb. 26.
“We laughed before the game because our pregame speech could have been the same for the first game as it was for today,” Coach Mike Davis said. “Our style of play hasn’t changed much."