The Columbia College women’s basketball team came up a little short Monday night.
The Cougars fell 61-58 to much taller Oklahoma Baptist at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
The loss was the Cougars’ first of the season, dropping them to 5-1. Oklahoma Baptist improved to 3-0.
Despite the Bison’s size advantage in the post, Pricilla Alves, the OBU’s point guard, made the difference. With the Bison trailing 58-57 with 23 seconds left, Alves scored four of her 14 second-half points on consecutive fastbreak baskets.
Columbia College, No. 13 in the NAIA, was outsized in the post all night by No. 16 Oklahoma Baptist, but 6-foot senior Mindy Mitchem and 5-10 senior Tilly Payne fared well for the Cougars during the first half. They limited the Bison’s 6-5 Tetyana Klimenko and 6-4 Layla Schwartzto a combined six points.
Both Cougars got into foul trouble early in the second half, though, and Mitchem played only 8 minutes in the second half.
The Bison’s ability to shut down senior forward Charliss Ridley was another key. Ridley scored 20 points in the first half but was limited to only four in the second half.
“(Alves) was a great penetrator and had a nice outside touch too,” senior Charliss Ridley said.
The loss disappointed Cougars coach Mike Davis.
“There was no moral victory here,” he said. “We are experienced so we know we need to be consistent to win, and we didn’t have that consistency tonight.”
Davis said his team struggled with its shots and failed to penetrate.
The Cougars shot 28 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 42 percent during the first half. They made only 4-of-10 free throws in the second half after hitting 9-of-12 from the line in the first half.
“We weren’t finishing our shots like we should,” he said. “It’s our home court and if we are as good as we say we are we need to win those ball games.”