Charliss Ridley led the Columbia College women’s basketball team to the round of 16 of the NAIA National Tournament in Jackson, Tenn., on Thursday.
Ridley scored 29 points in the No. 3-seeded Cougars’ 66-55 victory against Lee (Tenn.) University, the No. 6 seed in this quarter of the draw, in the first round of the tournament.
The Cougars improved to 31-5 and advance to play second-seeded Point Loma Nazarene (31-4), a team from California, in the second round at 10:45 a.m. Friday. The tournament championship is Tuesday night.
Columbia College’s defense was strong throughout the game, holding Lee to 32 percent shooting and out-rebounding the Flames 53-38. Lee (23-12) shot 27 percent from 3-point range.
“We actually did a pretty good job in the first half, staying aggressive,” coach Mike Davis said. “And we did a really good job rebounding the ball.”
Columbia College raced to a nine-point halftime lead and then held off the Flames, maintaining about a 10-point lead throughout the second half.
Ridley was 5-of-8 from 3-point range, and Rachel Davis added 11 points.