COLUMBUS, Ga. – The No. 22-ranked Lander women's basketball team mounted a second half rally, but it was not enough to overcome tough shooting in the first half as the Bearcats fell to Columbus State 77-67 Saturday afternoon. Lander (5-2, 1-1 PBC) junior guard Christal Williams tallied 15 point and eight rebounds, both career highs.
Lander suffered a slow offensive start that allowed Columbus State to build a 21-point lead late in the second quarter. The Bearcats headed into halftime with a 19-point deficit after shooting just 18.4 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Lander managed to pull within seven points midway through the third quarter, but a 7-0 run in the final period from the Cougars kept the game out of reach.
Columbus State held an 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, despite not making a shot from the field for the first 6:55 of the game. The Cougars' first 10 points came from the free throw line as Columbus State went 12-of-16 from the charity stripe in the opening period. Meanwhile, the Bearcats did not connect from the field in the final 4:43 of the quarter.
Lander opened the second half with an 8-0 run, the final five coming from Mylea McKenith, that cut Columbus State's lead to 11 points. A Breshay Johnson bucket with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter brought the Bearcats within seven, but the Cougars scored 10 of the final 12 points of the quarter to take a 15-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
Columbus State built its lead to 19 points in the final period and handed the Bearcats their first conference loss of the season.
The Cougars' Tatum Jarvis led all scorers with 22, as the Cougars finished with four players in double-figures. Columbus State shot 41.9 percent from the floor and outrebounded Lander 50-43. The Bearcats shot 28.2 percent and went 4-for-20 from beyond the arc. The teams combined for 39 turnovers.
Lander returns to action on Monday night with a non-conference contest against Converse at Finis Horne Arena at 7:00 p.m.