After an upset victory against Oklahoma Christian, the Columbia College women’s basketball team suffered an emotional letdown Saturday.
The Cougars were outhustled for the majority of the game and a late rally fell short as Ohio Dominican held on for an 89-79 win at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
No. 22 Columbia College defeated No. 18 Oklahoma Christian 87-66 on Thursday.
“We were fat and lazy and feeling happy about the win over Oklahoma Christian,” Cougars coach Mike Davis said.
After Nicole Stone made a basket with 8:56 to give the Panthers a 74-54 lead, the Cougars went to a trapping defense and climbed back into the game.
Columbia College (6-3) scored seven straight, and Ohio Dominican called a timeout after Tiffany Foote stole the ball and made a layup.
Cougars guard Lisa Kowalewski said the Cougars need to stay focused but can learn from the loss.
“We knew that at no point were we so far back that we weren’t going to be able to come back,” Kowalewski said. “We had the confidence that we could do, but we didn’t show that out on the court and get a defensive stop.”
The Cougars continued to play aggressive defense and closed to 81-77 with slightly less than two minutes to play. Ohio Dominican (3-4) made its free throws and Columbia College failed to execute on offense.
“We knew we were running out of time,” Foote said. “So we went to a trap defense to get some quick turnovers. It worked for a while, but we just couldn’t knock down some shots.”
Davis said the Cougars are struggling to find consistency.
“I thought the last eight or nine minutes we played our hearts out,” Davis said. “But the first 32 minutes, we put ourselves in too deep a hole to get ourselves out of.”
Freshman forward Ursulla Jose provided a spark in the second half rally, scoring eight of 10 points after the break.
“She had some great moments, where she posted up strong and made some strong moves,” Davis said. “She is a really talented kid; her challenge is to keep adjusting to how things are done here.”
Davis stresses that Columbia College attack and push the ball the first five minutes of the second half, but the Panthers did instead.
Ohio Dominican used a 17-6 streak the first six minutes of the half to gain a 63-44 lead.
Foote said the Cougars need to focus better coming out of halftime to execute the game plan.
“We know what we need to do,” Foote said. “But we just don’t seem to do it all the time.”
Becky Richter scored nine points in the streak and led the Panthers with 30. She made 12-of-13 free throws.
“We didn’t keep people on the perimeter in terms of guarding the basketball,” Davis said. “There was penetration and kicks or drops down to the block. One thing we talked about was to keep them off the line, by being overly aggressive and moving our feet, but it’s the way they played. They played attacking the basket and we played shooting jumpers.
Nicole Stone scored 12 in the first half, 10 on layups, as Ohio Dominican attacked the basket.
“In the first half, they just outhustled us,” Tara Emily said.
Emily led the Cougars with 11 points at the break, making three 3-pointers.