The Wildcats made 15 of 28 charities and outscored the Cyclones by nine from the line. That proved to be the difference as Ottawa fell 36-27.
“We played really good for 30 minutes,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “Free throws and too many turnovers late in the game killed us. We are not good enough to overcome the little things. For us to beat a quality team like De Soto, we have to put everything together for the entire game.
“We can’t afford unforced turnovers. We can’t afford to go 1-of-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch. Those things like that kill us. We are not good enough or capable of overcoming things we are doing to ourselves.”
Ottawa went 1-for-7 from the field in the fourth quarter and scored just three points.
“De Soto led 25-24 heading into the fourth quarter and leading scorer Megan Bonar fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
“We did not take advantage of that,” McCullough said. “We did some nice things. We shut down Megan in the first half. We have to keep that kind of intensity up for the entire game.”
De Soto hit 9-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter. Ottawa outscored De Soto from the field, hitting 10 of 30 field goals, while De Soto was 9-of-36.
“We had a pretty good week of practice,” McCullough said. “It is encouraging to see what is going on. We are trying to get better.
We know we can be that dangerous team that can do some damage when we get to postseason if we all stick together and keep working hard. It is hard for everyone to maintain focus.”
Tyra Lyday paced the Cyclones with 10 points.
Ottawa (7-8) plays Friday at Louisburg.
De Soto (36) — Bonar 6, Williams 17, Saucerman 4, Gehrt 8, Maskus 1.
Ottawa (27) — Lyday 10, Bones 4, Roecker 4, C. Fischer 5, Lewis 2, Weidner 2.