COLUMBIA — The game had an odd feel at the beginning. The crowd was noticeably smaller than on a normal game night. The fans that were there were quieter.
Both teams started slow. Both teams missed shots as well as second chances off rebounds.
The Columbia College women's basketball team defeated Harris Stowe 83-55 on Wednesday night at The Arena at Southwell Complex in a game moved up one day because of the threat of Thursday's snowstorm.
Four of the five American Midwest Conference games scheduled for Thursday were played Wednesday night. Because the regular season ends Saturday, Cougars coach Mike Davis said the game had to be played this week.
"Yesterday our conference checked in to see if it was something the schools wanted to do." Davis said. "If they did get canceled tomorrow, then you're on a Friday (and) Saturday (schedule)."
The Cougars did not practice Sunday and Monday to recover after an overtime loss to Lyon College on Saturday. Davis said the change affected the team's preparation.
"That's not an ideal way to come into the game," Davis said. "We wouldn't have done it that way had we known (that the game time would be changed). But it was fair for everyone."
Davis took timeouts after both of the Hornets' first baskets, which came in the first 2:35 of the first half. The Hornets had jumped out to a 4-3 lead. But after the second timeout, Columbia College never trailed and rolled to an easy win.
Lily Abreu and Heather English both had 15 points to lead the Cougars in scoring. English had 13 points in the first half.
Brooke Godsey was accidentally hit in the nose with 6:55 left in the first half. She had a bloody nose on the play, but later returned to the game.
With the win, Columbia College improved to 23-6 and 16-1 in the conference. After Lyon College beat Hannibal-LaGrange on Wednesday night, the Cougars and the Scots remained tied atop the AMC standings. If they remain tied after the regular season ends, Columbia College will host the conference tournament. If Lyon finishes atop the standings, it will host the tournament in Jonesboro, Ark. The tournament is set to start Feb. 27.
Columbia College will finish the regular season Saturday at William Woods in Fulton. Lyon will play a home game against Stephens College.