The Lady Cats picked up an 83-76 win at Evangel to improve to an 8-2 record for the season.
Head coach Becky Mullis started sophomore Kyra Hardesty, junior Abby Oliver, senior Ashley Forrest, senior Aleksei Smith and sophomore Annie Noah.
The team got some points on the board early in the first quarter, but it proved to be a battle from both sides. Evangel took the lead once, only for the Lady Cats to take it back just over 10 seconds later. Evangel tied it up twice within the next five minutes, before the Lady Cats took the lead for the fourth and final time.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Cats had an eight point lead.
In the second quarter, Evangel made attempts to battle back. Just a minute in, they had fought to just a two point deficit. The Lady Cats went on a 9-0 run before a foul gave Evangel the opportunity to hit some free throws. Evangel hit them both to close the Lady Cats lead to nine points.
The teams battled back and forth for the next minute before another foul gave Evangel an opportunity to hit some free throws once again. Evangel only trailed by six with just over three minutes left in the half.
Some more foul trouble allowed Evangel to end the half trailing by just two points.
The second half started out with quite the battle. Evangel came within one point of tying the game up for the third time just three minutes in. But the Lady Cats weren’t willing to give up their lead that easily, Oliver hit a three and it was followed by another from Hardesty. It was enough to get the team out of a tough spot, and the Lady Cats didn’t allow Evangel to come any closer than five points to their lead for the remainder of the game.
In the final quarter, the Lady Cats led by as many as 13 points.
The Lady Cats went 42.4% from the field and hit 18 of their 20 free throw attempts. Evangel only went 37.1% from the field and hit 15 of their 19 free throw attempts.
Oliver put up a career high 26 points for the Lady Cats. Forrest added 11 points of her own, and freshman Julie Stone put up 10.
The Lady Cats play Benedictine College at home Friday. Benedictine has a 10-2 record for the season.