Thirty-one points is a subpar total for a college basketball team. Thirty-two turnovers is an abnormally high total. For one team to post both stats probably means a lopsided victory for the other team.
The Columbia College Cougars defeated the Harris-Stowe State College Hornets 104-31 in a game where Harris-Stowe committed more turnovers than points scored.
Strong defensive pressure and the superior size by the Cougars (16-5, 3-0) made it difficult for the Hornets (3-16, 0-3) to handle the ball and get open shots. Columbia College has four players 6-foot or taller but Harris Stowe’s tallest player is only 5-9.
The Cougars started the game with a 16-0 run and never looked back, stretching their halftime lead to 55-10. Charliss Ridley’s 14 first-half points led the team. She finished with 26 points and eight rebounds.
“I try not to pay attention to the score when I play,” Ridley said.
Sophomore Rachel Davis, a 6-1 forward, used her size advantage to earn her first career double-double. She finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Hornets shot 20.4 percent on the night, and finished with 26 total rebounds. Columbia College, on the other hand, shot 47.5 percent, including 47.6 percent from behind the 3-point arc. Junior guard Laura Elliot was 3-for-3 from 3-point land.
The Cougars also outrebounded the Hornets 61-26.
Baby Jean Nebrida and Annie Underwood led Harris-Stowe with eight points each.
Columbia College is 6-0 all-time against Harris Stowe, with a 77-point average margin of victory.
“When playing a team like this, we prepare what we want offensively and defensively,” Columbia College Coach Mike Davis said. “We spend a lot of time on ourselves, not on the scouting report.”
All eight players got into the game and scored for the Lady Cougars, even the sole freshman Mandy Jorgenson, who has played in only four games this season.
“It’s easy to start hunting points in a game like this,” Davis said. “But instead we made each other better.”
Tuesday’s NAIA national ranking put the Cougars at No. 19, one spot better than a week ago.
“Rankings are good,” Ridley said, “but we are really focused on where we want to be at the end of the season.”
The Cougars hope to improve on last year’s second-round NAIA tournament loss to Texas Baptist College. The team is also poised to repeat as American Midwest Conference Champions. Four conference games remain until the start of the postseason tournament on March 1.
The next game for the Cougars is on Saturday in St. Louisat 7 p.m., against Missouri Baptist University (6-9, 1-1).