COLUMBIA — The Columbia College women’s basketball team practiced Tuesday afternoon for the final time before the American Midwest Conference tournament, unsure of its first-round opponent.
Another bout of winter storms pushed the play-in game between the Hannibal-LaGrange Trojans and Benedictine-Springfield Bulldogs — the teams vying to face the second-seeded Cougars in the quarterfinals — to Tuesday night.
“That’s part of tournament time,” Cougars coach Mike Davis said. “It’s a quick turnaround, and you just adjust to that.”
The prospective opponent mentioned most during Tuesday’s practice, however, was neither the Trojans nor the Bulldogs. It was a team on the opposite side of the Cougars in the AMC bracket: Freed-Hardeman (29-1, 21-1), the No. 1 seed in the AMC and the only team to defeat Columbia College (24-6, 20-2) in conference play. Freed-Hardeman beat Columbia College in both of the teams' meetings.
“In that last game against Freed, we didn’t come up with some rebounds that changed the game,” Davis yelled to his team during practice Tuesday.
Several of Davis' players nodded their heads in silent agreement. Less than two weeks prior to Tuesday, the visiting Lions had edged Columbia College 84-82. The loss was Columbia College's second and final loss of conference play.
"It is definitely difficult to not look ahead to them," junior guard Ashley Fisher said of Freed-Hardeman." That would be a big game for us and one we really want to get, but we also realize we have to take care of business with the other teams first to get there."
That business begins Wednesday at home for the Cougars. They are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
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