SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) No. 5 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) needed overtime to survive a scare from Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions, Milligan (Tenn.), 84-76.
Morgan Smith hit a five-footer to put the Lady Bobcats up two. However, the lead did not last as the Buffaloes answered as the clock expired to send the game to overtime.
Milligan took a three point lead to start the game, however that was the only lead for the Buffaloes in the half. After that three, the Lady Bobcats looked to have control of the game in the first half, as the College of the Ozarks shot 48 percent in the first half. After Morgan Smith scored two of her 40 points, the Lady Bobcats took a 10 point lead into halftime.
Early in the second half the College of the Ozarks looked to be putting the game away as they had extended its lead to 16 points. However, the Buffaloes would not go away quietly. With under 14 minutes left in the game, Milligan started its comeback as the Buffaloes started trimming the lead down slowly.
With the game tied with 15 seconds remaining and the game tied at 71-71, the Lady Bobcats went to their go to player, Morgan Smith. Smith caught the ball on the block and she hit a huge shot to put the College of the Ozarks ahead by two. Milligan answered as time expired as Dorian Freeman hit a layup as the click hit triple zeros to send the game to overtime.
Overtime belonged to the Lady Bobcats the scored 11 of the 14 points in the extra session to defeat Milligan, 84-76.
Morgan Smith scored a game-high 40 points, seven points shy of the most points scored in a championship game. Kayla Kepler of the College of the Ozarks collected 17 rebounds. Johneshia Good led the way for Milligan with 17 points.
The Lady Bobcats advance to the second round to face the winner of No. 14 Briar Cliff (Iowa) and No. 20 Siena Heights (Mich.) game. The second round game for the College of the Ozarks tips at 5:15 p.m. Friday.