Updated Tue, Nov 1, 2011 10:47 pm
With only 12 days remaining until the first tip of the 2011-2012 Lady 'Cats basketball season at Morehead State, an exhibition game against Ohio Valley University’s Fighting Scots was a chance for head coach Semeka Randall to see how her young squad, including eight underclassmen, would handle a real-game scenario.
Challenge accepted. The Lady Cats pummeled the Scots into submission in an 87-52 blowout win at the Convo. OVU led only once in the entire contest, scoring on their first possession. After that, it was all Ohio. Paced by senior leader Tenishia Benson’s 17 point, 11 rebound double-double, the 'Cats pulled away and put a stranglehold on the game.
True freshman Kat Yelle made her first career start for the Green and White at point guard in place of injured junior Ashley Fowler. She responded well to the situation, making smart decisions with the ball and dribbling her way out of tough situations while finishing with 11 points and four assists in 27 minutes of play. She showed poise and confidence when she had possession, and head coach Semeka Randall said that she really enjoyed her all-out performance.
Another key contributor for Ohio tonight was Gulf Coast Community College transfer Porsha Harris. The Ju-Co standout showed that she can be a major factor in the post. Despite only pulling down three boards, she boxed out well and cleared the path for others, such as Benson, to slip in from the wings and rebound. Harris finished with 12 points in the contest.
Randall said that she was impressed with her team’s effort tonight, but added that conditioning is a major problem for Ohio, who appeared sluggish and fatigued towards the end of the game. She also added that she was focused on transition offense, transition defense, and rebounding as her main points of emphasis.
Randall commented that she was disappointed by the fact that Ohio gave up 17 offensive rebounds to OVU.
“We’re a work in progress," Randall said. "But for a first game out, debut with a lot of new faces out there playing, and putting a lot of people in the lineup, I thought it was overall a pretty good job for the first time."
Depth will be a huge part of the Bobcat attack this season. Randall is trying to run an up-tempo style of play, and junior Alisia Howard stated that getting healthy will be critical to allowing Ohio to maintain their depth. The 'Cats had four players who were unable to compete due to injury against OVU, and two of those - Fowler and sophomore Shavon Robinson - were starters from a season ago. The Bobcats must get back to full health in order to play their style of basketball.
As for Ohio’s seemingly lackadaisical play towards the end of the game tonight, Randall was asked whether or not she thought her team would be in shape in time for the season opener on November 13.
Her response: "What do you think?”