COLUMBIA — With the Columbia College women’s basketball team well ahead of Williams Baptist with about 30 seconds left in the game Saturday, sophomore guard Heather English showed the crowd at The Arena at Southwell Complex that her team was going to finish strong.
With the Cougars on defense, English stole an errant pass near midcourt, giving the Cougars a chance to eclipse 100 points. With the crowd clapping in unison, encouraging the Cougars to make their last shot, English threw a pass into the paint to teammate Julie Teeple who put up a shot.
The shot did not go in, and the crowd let out a collective groan of disappointment. Still, the Cougars won 99-59 in a game in which the crowd had plenty to cheer about.
"It's one of those things where you don't start off the game looking to get 100," Teeple said. "But then when you get to it and you know there's a chance, it's like 'let's push, let's push.'"
The sequence highlighted the overwhelming team effort the Cougars showed throughout the entire game, even in the final minute with the game securely in hand.
“With a minute left we had Julie Teeple on the floor trying to get a loose ball,” Cougars coach Mike Davis said. “When you do things like that, that lends itself to how we played today."
The Cougars led throughout the game, combining tough defense and accurate shooting on their way to a 99-59 victory. Their point total was a season high.
The Cougars scored 100 points three times last season. The highest of those three totals came on Jan. 15, 2011, when the Cougars scored 111 against Stephens College.
English sparked the Cougars throughout the game, making several good plays on defense.
With the victory, the Cougars improve to 20-8 overall and 10-2 in the American Midwest Conference. The Cougars hold a one-game lead in the AMC.
The Cougars have two games left to play in the regular season. Wins in both of those games would secure their second straight regular season conference championship.