Maybe they shouldn’t have bothered to show up at all.
The Harris-Stowe State College women’s basketball team arrived at Columbia College at 7:05 p.m. to play No. 11 Columbia College in the first round of the American Midwest Conference tournament.
The game was scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
“I guess (their lateness) shows a lack of respect,” Cougars forward LeAnn Fossum said.
But after a 125-32 Cougar victory, the only team lacking respect was the Hornets, who ended the game with four players on the court.
Harris-Stowe State brought only five players to the game, and freshman Annie Underwood fouled out with 1:35 left, leaving Cougar freshman Mandy Jorgenson wondering who to guard.
“That’s who I had, coach,” Jorgenson said.
The statistics bordered on ridiculous. Columbia College went on a 46-0 run in the first half, leading 57-5 with three minutes left. Harris-Stowe committed 18 turnovers in the first half, including 12 by point guard BabyJean Nebrida.
Columbia College had five players in double figures. Senior Charliss Ridley led the pack with 32 points, and Fossum had a season-high 26.
Jorgenson also had a season-high scoring night with her first game in double digits (11).
Frustration was evident on Harris-Stowe’s side. Cougar forward Mindy Mitchem blocked Underwood’s first shot out of bounds, and Underwood paused for a moment to look sadly at the empty bleachers behind her. She sat on the ground for a few minutes and watched her teammates play defense on the other end.
Nebrida narrowly avoided a technical foul when she hit the ball in disgust and sent it flying toward Ridley. Cougars coach Mike Davis said the referees needed to avoid feeling sorry for the Hornets.
Harris-Stowe coach Darnell Davis didn’t want to give up, even with four players on the court. He told his team to wait for the last shot when they had the ball at the end of the game.
Trailing by 93, it appeared the Hornets would need a bit more than one shot.
Five shots were all senior Lisa Kowalewski needed to become the first Columbia College basketball player to score 2,000 points. Kowalewski hit a 3-pointer with 6:53 left in the first half to reach 2,002.
“When you’re recruiting someone out of high school, I don’t think you ever think, ‘This is a girl who could score 2,000 points,’” Davis said. “It’s pretty much out of the realm of possibilities in your thought.”
He said Kowalewski’s consistency of scoring 15-to-18 night in and night out has been unbelievable.
“Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you can just flat-out shoot the ball,” Davis added.
Kowalewski was 9-of-12 in the game, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
The Cougars will face William Woods in the semifinals for the AMC tournamentat the Arena of Southwell Complex on Friday at 7 p.m.
This season is the Cougars’ fifth straight as the No. 1 seed and tournament host.