MO State HS Sports

Cougars Claim Third-Straight AMC Tourney Title

womens basketball amc champs

Columbia, Mo. – The No. 1 seed Columbia College women’s basketball team battled back from a 15-point second quarter deficit to defeat No. 3 seed Williams Baptist University 79-66 in the championship game of  the 2024 American Midwest Conference Tournament Monday at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
Columbia outscored Williams Baptist 54-31 in the second half, including 28-16 in the third quarter. The Cougars won their third-straight AMC Tournament title and eighth overall.
Mallory Shetley (23 Points, 11-11 FT), DeLaney Horstman (16 points, 11 rebounds), Allison Stiers (12) and Abby Backes (11) scored in double figures for Columbia, who shot 90.9 percent (20-22) from the free-throw line in the win.
Columbia won its ninth-straight game and improved to 27-4, while Williams Baptist had its three-game win streak snapped and fell to 24-6. The Cougars finished the season 17-0 at home and have won 31-consecutive games at the Arena of Southwell Complex.
Williams Baptist led 12-8 in the opening 4:46 of play scoring nine of 12 points off Columbia turnovers. The Eagles held a two-point lead (18-16) after the first 10 minutes of play, forcing the Cougars into six turnovers.
Columbia missed 10 of their first 11 shots of the second frame and Williams Baptist answered with a 15-2 run to extend the lead to 33-18. Stiers connected on a three to cut the lead to 35-23 and end a drought of 6:30 without a bucket for the Cougars.
Williams Baptist led 35-25 at half after limiting Columbia to 33.3 percent (9-27) shooting from the field and forcing 13 turnovers. The Eagles had an 18-2 advantage in points off turnovers. 
Back-to-back buckets by Horstman and a three by Backes trimmed the lead to 38-32, and the lead was cut to two (38-36) as Horstman capped a 7-0 run with a jumper. Backes drilled another three and Shetley’s jumper gave Columbia the 43-41 lead. The Cougars hit six-straight shots during the 14-3 run.
Columbia shot 50 percent (11-22) from the field in the third quarter and led 53-48. Shetley (9), Backes (8), and Horstman (8) combined to score 25 of 28 points in the third.
The Cougars opened the fourth quarter on a 12-4 run, and claimed a double-digit lead (65-55) on a three-pointer by Sydney Reddin. The bucket for Reddin was her first of the game. After a 30-second timeout, Mackenzie Hess drained a three and Horstman hit a lay-up to make it a 15-point advantage (70-55).
Carmen Taylor (21 points), Kaylee Clark (11) and Charmen Taylor (10) scored in double figures for Williams Baptist, who shot 42.4 percent (28-66) from the field and hit just 3-of-14 from three-point range in the loss.
The 2024 NAIA Women’s Basketball Selection show is set for Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m., while first-round play is set to begin on Friday, March 15 at a site to be determined. Columbia and Williams Baptist have both earned an automatic bid to the NAIA Tournament.
NOTES: Columbia leads the all-time series with Williams Baptist 49-3 … Horstman’s double-double was her 17th of the season … Columbia has won 27 or more games for the first time since 2019 and for the 10th time in school history.

This article is provided by Columbia Cougar Athletics