Updated Fri, Jan 20, 2012 3:20 am
Tenishia Benson sank a free throw with less than a second remaining in overtime and led the Ohio Bobcats to a 72-71 win over the Akron Zips on Thursday.
“That was a miracle,” Benson said about the last second play that led to the game winning shot. “The Lord wrote that one.”
With nearly identical field goal, three-point, and free throw percentages between these two teams, it is no surprise that the game was decided within the last second of the game. In field goal attempts, Ohio went 26-61 and Akron went 26-60. In three-point attempts, both teams went 7-16. In free throws, Ohio went 13-20 and Akron went 12-18 (the teams were both 12-18 until Benson's one-of-two trip with .7 seconds remaining).
“What you witnessed tonight was a senior stepping up and putting her team on her back and winning a basketball game and the rest of the team rallied around her,” Ohio head coach Semeka Randall said after the game. Benson scored a season-high 23 points and led her team in playing time with a total of 38 minutes.
“When a player has that look in their eye, we give them the basketball,” Randall continued.
Shavon Robinson also commented on Benson’s significant role. “Tonight there was something different about her. She did have that look in her eye that she wanted to win this game and that fueled me on the bench,” the sophomore said.
Robinson scored the first two points of the game, contributing 16 points overall and freshman guard Mariah Byard added 11. As well as scoring nine points, junior guard Symone Lyles grabbed a total of nine rebounds against the Zips.
Also of note was junior guard Ashley Fowler’s 13 minutes of playing time - a significant number due to the fact that Fowler watched her team lose its last game to Miami (OH) from the bench due to an injured right shoulder.
“It was great to see her back out there,” Robinson said of her teammate.
Ohio (9-10, 2-3 MAC) came into this game with three consecutive MAC losses. This win over Akron gives the Bobcats a “huge” mental confidence boost according to Randall.
“We just needed to get out of that column and get back into the winning column and hopefully we can carry some momentum as we get ready for a good basketball team,” she said. The Bobcats host the Toledo Rockets (10-7, 3-2 MAC) on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to enjoy this today because it feels good to win again,” Randall said.