College of Ozarks (Mo.) will advance to the second round at the 20th Annual State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship after defeating Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 71-52 on Wednesday at Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.
The Lady Bobcats improve to 27-5 overall and 26-16 in National Championship play. College of the Ozarks will meet Cedarville (Ohio) in the 8:30 a.m. CST game on Friday. The Yellow Jackets advanced after defeating Saint Francis (Ind.) in the first game of the day.USF was one of the five squads to defeat the Lady Bobcats in the regular season, winning 90-79 on Nov. 12. Following a run to the quarterfinals in 2010, Cardinal Stritch will exit the event after the first round for the seventh time in 11 years. The Wolves finish the season at 24-8.
College of the Ozarks relied on strong 3-point shooting in the first half, connecting on 6-of-14 (.429) from long range. The Lady Bobcats, who are making their 17th appearance, went into halftime with a 39-27 lead. Senior center Madison Culpepper supplied 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes of action. Lisa Lawrence led Cardinal Stritch with eight points at the break.
Culpepper, who came into the game as the Lady Bobcats’ fifth leading scorer at 8.7 points per game, had a game-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting. She also grabbed seven rebounds and had four swats in the win. Lisa Lawrence and Julie Raeder led the Cardinal Stritch scoring efforts with 14 points each.
Story courtesy of NAIA.org