The Columbia College women’s basketball team’s season came to an unexpected end Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament.
Columbia (26-8) fell to sixth-seeded Montana State-Northern (22-9) inside the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. The final score was 56-55.
The third-seeded Cougars led for most of the second half, but they surrendered the lead for good on a Polar Bears free throw with 12 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Mike Davis, Columbia College's head coach, said. “Shooting was our Achilles' heel.”
Columbia converted just 20 of 63 field goals it attempted, shooting 31.7 percent on field goals for the game. The Cougars struggled mightily from behind the 3-point line, going 1-11.
“We missed shot after shot,” Davis said. “This time of the year, if you don’t make them, you go home.”
Sophomore forward Janairrika Bland led Columbia College with 12 points, and Corri Hamilton chipped in with 10. Bland and Hamilton were the only Cougars who scored in double figures.