COLUMBIA — With the leading scorers on the Columbia College women's basketball team playing underwhelming in the first half, the Cougars looked to a player outside of the starting lineup.
Reserve senior guard Kaitlin Allphin scored 12 points in 14 minutes of playing time to help the Cougars earn a 79-55 victory over Robert Morris University on Monday night at the Arena of Southwell Complex. Senior guard Lily Abreu led the Cougars in scoring with 20, but it was Allphin who set the tone early.
Allphin, who entered the game after not scoring in Columbia College's first four games, led all scorers in the first half with nine points on 3-for-3 shooting, taking on whatever role she was placed in.
"I wasn't trying to force anything offensively," she said. "I just tried to do my job and go with whatever flows in the offense."
Allphin cooled a bit in the second half, but the team was picked up by Abreu's 15 second-half points. Still, even though Allphin contributed only a single second-half basket, it had an impact on the game.
After a missed free throw by Abreu, Allphin crashed the boards, secured the offensive rebound and was fouled on the successful put back. The three-point play put the Cougars' lead at 51-31 and was the highlight of a 13-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Columbia College coach Mike Davis said he was pleased with Allphin's energy off the bench, as well as his team's defensive effort.
Robert Morris applied full court pressure for most of the game but didn't respond when Columbia College did the same. The Cougars held the Eagles to just 30.6 percent shooting and didn't allow a basket in the final 8:41 of the first half.
Davis said he used his team's depth, with all 14 players on the roster seeing the floor, to keep the pressure on the Eagles throughout the game and wear them down.
"Some teams that like to pressure don't like to get pressured themselves," he said.
The win moves the Cougars, No. 21 in the NAIA, to 3-2. Their next game will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at Peru State College in Peru, Neb. The game will mark the beginning of three consecutive road games, with the Cougars not returning home until Dec. 4 when they face Mid-America Nazarene.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.