Shawnee State (24-9) had four individuals finish in double figures, led by Schera Sampson and Allison Nagle's 14 points. Sampson chipped in 11 rebounds to record her 15th double-double of the season, while Alex Pohl tallied her eighth double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
The Bears broke open a close first half with back-to-back 3-pointers by Alannah Sheets and Nagle, followed by another trey by Nagle a few minutes later to complete an 18-8 run and give Shawnee State a 36-26 lead at the half.
Shawnee State maintained an 8-to-10 point advantage for the opening seven minutes of the second half before Columbia's Danielle Ingrum connected on one of the Cougars two 3-point baskets to spark an 11-1 run that tied the score, 47-47, with 8:59 left.
The lead changed hands or was tied six times over the next six minutes, however Columbia went cold from the field during the final 2:42 of regulation. The Cougars tallied only one field goal during the stretch, while Shawnee State converted 6-of-8 attempts at the free throw line.
Shawnee State finished the contest shooting 41.3 percent (19-of-46) from the field. The Bears overcame a season-high 30 turnovers by outrebounding Columbia, 47-36.
Columbia was led in scoring by Heather English, who tallied 20 points. Julie Teeple added 10 points and 10 rebounds en route to her fifth double-double of the season. As a team, the Cougars finished the contest shooting 31.3 percent (21-of-67) from the field, including a dismal 9.1 percent (2-of-22) from 3-point range.
With the loss, Columbia finishes the season with a 27-7 overall record.
Shawnee State's second round game is scheduled to tip at 10:45 a.m. on Friday.