FOREST CITY – The Waldorf College women's basketball team couldn't find its rhythm, dropping an 86-50 loss to College of the Ozarks in the final home game of the season.
"Nothing really went right for us," Waldorf coach Katie Schutjer said. "As a team, we didn't shoot well, we didn't rebound well and we had too many turnovers."
The Lady Bobcats (19-7, 10-2) are ranked No. 18 in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II poll. They raced to a 38-18 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 43 points in the second half of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) contest.
Kellie Schmit led the Warriors (4-23, 2-9) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It was the 11th double-double of the season for the 5-foot-9 sophomore forward from Britt, who battled an Ozarks team with a considerable size advantage.
"Kellie played hard," Schutjer said. "The double-double shows it, especially being so undersized."
Tanner Merriman paced the Lady Bobcats with a game-high 15 points. Maison Bovard added 12 points while Brandy Uchtman and Jordan Graham had 10 points each for Ozarks.
The Lady Bobcats, who were national tournament runners-up last season, went 49 percent from the field on 32-of-65 shooting. They went 1-of-7 (14 percent) from 3-point range and knocked down 84 percent of their free-throw attempts behind a 21-of-25 effort.
The Warriors couldn't find their touch on the offensive end, shooting 16-of-62 (26 percent) from the floor and 2-of-21 (10 percent) behind the arc. They finished 16-of-21 (76 percent) at the charity stripe.
Ozarks controlled the boards with a 49-38 advantage and dominated the paint, outscoring Waldorf by a 46-22 margin.
Turnovers created a setback for Waldorf. The Warriors committed 18 turnovers, which led to 21 points for the Lady Bobcats. Ozarks turned the ball over 13 times and Waldorf scored nine points off turnovers.
Bench production gave the Lady Bobcats a lift as their reserves outscored Waldorf's bench 40-20.
With the win, Ozarks completed the season sweep of the Warriors. The Lady Bobcats topped Waldorf 91-56 in the first meeting on Jan. 24 at Point Lookout, Mo. Ozarks is currently tied for first place in the MCAC standings with No. 11 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (24-4, 10-2).
Saturday marked Senior Day for the Warriors, who honored Nelsen and Robinson in their final home game at Hanson Fieldhouse.
"It was a rough night for our seniors to go out on," Schutjer said.
Schutjer, who's in her first year as Waldorf's head coach, said the senior duo has been a joy to coach. They've helped the Warriors show continuous improvement throughout the season.
"They really stepped up this year, especially since it was basically a new program with the coaching change," Schutjer said. "They are good kids to work with and a lot of fun to have."
Waldorf closes out the regular season with two road games next weekend. The Warriors face York College (9-16, 3-9) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at York, Neb. and then take on Central Christian College (9-19, 3-9) in Saturday's 3 p.m. tip-off at McPherson, Kan.
York edged Waldorf 63-60 on Jan. 16 at Forest City. Central Christian escaped with a 71-66 win over the Warriors the following day.
"Next week are two big games that were close at home," Schutjer said. "We will focus on things this week in practice to help us get two wins in those games."