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Ozarks depth powers through Morningside

(2) College of the Ozarks (Mo.) vs (3) Morningside (Iowa)

The College of the Ozarks Bobcats took on the Morningside Mustangs on Friday, March 10 in the second round of the 2017 NAIA Div. II Women’s Basketball Championship. Neither team could ever gain much of a lead, and when they did, it was never insurmountable. With about two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the College of the Ozarks decided they were going to be the winners of this matchup, winning by a score of 80-72.

Three sophomores for the Ozarks had double digit scoring to help lead their team to victory. Madisen Brethower had 14 points and  Cassidy Johnson had 12. Kelsie Cleeton was the big stand out player as she had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

College of the Ozarks Head Coach Becky Vest talked about their depth being a big factor in advancing farther into the tournament.

“It was a great team effort, we had contributions from a ton of kids. I looked at our bench points and we had 32 points off the bench and everybody just did their job,” Becky Vest said.

Morningside had faced the Ozarks earlier in the year and had been victorious. Mustangs Coach Jamie Sale spoke about the difference between the first game and this one tonight.

“I think the first time we played, they would tell you that they didn’t play very well and we played really well. I think the opposite happened here today and that just happens in basketball. They are a great program and a very good team and if you don’t play well they are going to beat you,” he said.

Senior Mustang Taylor Bahensky led her team with 26 points, followed by freshman Sydney Hupp with 19. Morningside ends their season with a final record of 24-9.

No. 2 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) will play the winner of No. 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 4 Friends University in the Duer Bracket. Tip off is set for Saturday at 8 p.m.



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