COLUMBIA — Columbia College assistant basketball coach Curt Riley put his right arm around Julie Teeple's shoulder as she walked off the court after the Cougars warmed up, 40 minutes before the game.
“I told her to relax,” Riley said. “She (thought) she was 18 points away from 1,000 (points) and she really wanted to get it done tonight.”
No. 1 Columbia College vs. No. 3 William Woods University
7 p.m Monday at Southwell Complex
Teeple, a fifth-year senior, actually had 979 points coming into Friday’s American Midwest Conference tournament quarterfinal vs. Williams Baptist College at Southwell Complex. Still, she wanted to get to the milestone Friday.
It didn't quite happen, but Teeple led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points. Columbia College beat Williams Baptist 68-40. With the win, Columbia College improved to 26-6 on the year. Top-seeded Columbia College will host No. 3 William Woods in the tournament final at 7 p.m. Monday. Teeple will get another shot at 1,000.
Teeple makes a habit of setting ambitious goals and then meeting them. Earlier this year, Teeple notched win No. 100 as a member of the Cougar women’s basketball team. Only seven other players have done that in the 11-year history of the program.
Teeple used to be a two-sport athlete for Columbia College. She redshirted her sophomore year after fracturing her right leg playing volleyball for the Cougars. She stopped playing volleyball after the 2010 season. Three years after the injury, Teeple still plays basketball with a stress fracture in that leg.
“It’s just something I have to work through every day,” Teeple said. “(During practice) I pretty much just do a run-through and ride the (exercise) bike.”
Teeple juggles school, basketball and her relationship with her fiancé during the season. She was named an NAIA scholar-athlete the past two seasons. She finished her undergraduate degree in marketing in less than four years. She will graduate in May with an MBA. Throughout the hectic basketball season, Teeple has also been trying to plan her wedding, set for July.
Head coach Mike Davis wasn't concerned about Teeple reaching her latest milestone.
"If she's good enough, she'll get (the additional points) Monday," he said.