Cougars return to midseason form just in time

After falling from poll, Columbia College gets an important tournament win.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:08 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

You’d think the Columbia College women’s basketball team would be happy with the season it had.

The Cougars finished (24-6, 11-3), and the 11 conference wins were enough to earn the team American Midwest Conference Co-Champions along with McKendree College.

But the Cougars aren’t happy.

Columbia College lost three of its last seven games, and in the process, dropped from the NAIA Division I top 25. The Cougars also saw sole possession of the AMC title slip away during the February slump.

“We had lost a little intensity, lost a little bounce in our step...but I think we got it back,” head coach Mike Davis said after the Cougars defeated the Missouri Baptist Spartans 85-78 in the first round of the AMC Postseason Tournament Tuesday night at Southwell Complex.

Mike Davis, however, believes his team has regained the confidence it had mid season.

Junior guard Amber Lewellen said being the No. 2 seed behind McKendree has given the Cougars more motivation.

“We have been underrated the whole season,” said Lewellen after scoring 19 in the Cougar victory.

Although many Cougars said the team’s defense was sub-par on Tuesday, the players believe that they are regaining their old form.

“We are back to where we were when we were making our run at the beginning of the season,” said senior guard Jessica Wilkerson.

The win gives Columbia College its 25th victory of the season. The Cougars will play the University of Illinois-Springfield at 7 p.m. Thursday at Southwell Complex.

The Cougars split the regular-season series with the Prairie Stars 1-1.

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