Columbia basketball concludes regular season

COLUMBIA, S.C., – Columbia College basketball fell to the Milligan College Buffaloes (22-8, 18-4 AAC) 76-53 in conclusion of the 2016-2017 regular season.

The game began by honoring the team's five seniors: Alison Sobataka, Katie Kopp, Kennyatta Gilchrist, Briana Johnson, and Erica LeBlanc.

Columbia held tight to Milligan during the first quarter, swapping leads until the game was tied at 11. However, two back-to-back conversions by the Buffaloes ended the quarter with a 16-11 lead in favor of Milligan. In the second quarter, Columbia pulled ahead putting 4 points on the board in the first minute but Milligan went on a 14-2 run and led 31-17 at the half.
The Koalas managed to keep pace with Milligan, both teams scoring 22 points in the third quarter but the deficit in the first and second proved too much. The Buffaloes pushed another 23 points in the fourth while Columbia managed only 13 to put the final score at 76-53.
Columbia College will travel to MeadowView Marriott in Kingsport, T.N. to enter the Conference Tournament, Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 22-25th. The Koalas will have a chance to play for a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.


The seniors honored at Saturday's game:

#3 Alison Sobataka

Alison is a native of Salisbury, N.C., majoring in public health with a minor in applied computing. She has played in 116 career games and had totaled 615 points heading into the final game Saturday. As a student-athlete, Alison maintained a 3.9 GPA, made both the Dean's List and President's List, was named as a NAIA Scholar Athlete in 2016 and received Academic All-Conference twice during her career. She was accompanied by her family, Sam and Lisa Sobataka, Mary Sobataka, and Matthew Miller. 

#10 Katie Kopp

Katie is a native of Charleston, S.C., majoring in behavioral science with a minor in psychology.  As a transfer from Patrick Henry Community College, Katie came to Columbia College as dual-sport athlete, participating in both track and basketball for two seasons. Heading into Saturday's game, she had played in 52 career games scoring 191 points, of which 150 are in the current season. She was joined on the court today by her family, Scott and Lindsey Kopp.

#12 Kennyatta Gilchrist

Kennyatta is a native of Abbeville, S.C., majoring in speech language pathology with a minor in leadership and spanish. She has played in 106 games in which she had over 500 rebounds.  Her off the court and in the classroom achievements include the Dean's List and receiving the 2017 Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Scholarship. Kennyatta has been inspired by the empowering women at Columbia College and has been a participant and leader in multiple scholastic organizations during her years here. She was accompanied by her family, Carmella and Gary Burton.

#15 Briana Johnson

Briana is a native of Columbia, S.C., majoring in political science with a minor in public relations and communication. During her student-athlete career, she has earned the accomplishments of Student Alumnae Ambassador, Dean's List, Second Team All-Conference in 2016, and the first to be in the 1,000-point club at Columbia College. She was joined on the court today by her family, Tal and Maxine Johnson, and brothers Tal Johnson Jr., and Lebron Hill.

#32 Erica LeBlanc

Erica is a native of Lithonia, G.A., majoring in communication with a minor in history and leadership. This season alone, Erica has reached great heights as an athlete. She now ranks 44th in NAIA, Division II for blocks per game and also had her first double-double last month.  Academically, Erica has enjoyed the honor of participating as an Ambassador of O'keffe's Legacy. She was accompanied today by her family, Jerome LeBlanc Sr., Joann LeBlanc, Jerome LeBlanc Jr., and Terry LeBlanc.