Updated Thu, Feb 23, 2012 1:04 am
Ohio stunned Bowling Green at home Wednesday night. The Bobcats (13-15, 6-8 MAC) beat the Falcons (22-5, 12-2 MAC) 60-56.
In typical form, the Falcons went on a scoring drive to pull away from the Bobcats. In this particular game, however, the 10-0 run came in the first half giving the Bobcats a chance (and time) to come back. After being down 32-27 at the half, the Bobcats were able to regain the lead with approximately 10 minutes left in the game. From then on, the game remained tight with a number of ties and lead changes.
“We kind of lost our composure but we were able to gain it back and we played a fantastic - probably one of our best - second-halves of the year,” head coach Semeka Randall said after the game.
With eight seconds to go and the score tied at 56, Tenishia Benson made a shot under the basket to give the Bobcats the final lead. Shavon Robinson sealed the game with two foul shots. These two women led their team in points. Benson contributed 21 points and was followed closely by Robinson with 20.
“I never think about the outcome. I think it adds too much drama and pressure and there is no need for that,” Benson said of the game-winner. “When I shoot it, my heart says that it wants to go in. So I let my heart decide.”
Benson and Robinson were giddy in their post-game interviews. They were giggling and noticeably excited about the win. Both players talked about an almost surreal feeling during the last plays of the game.
“I was numb at that moment,” Robinson said.
This win was significant for Ohio as it broke an eight-game losing streak to Bowling Green and Wednesday marked the first time that the Bobcats have beaten the Falcons at home since 2002. Earlier this year, the Ohio lost to Bowling Green 61-49 on the road.
“The key was mindset. That’s what we talked about. We cannot crumble. We have got to stay together as a unit and keep pushing it,” Randall said in reference to the atmosphere in the locker room before the game and at the half.
Along with maintaining a positive attitude, the Bobcats struggled to contain Bowling Green’s Alexis Rodgers. Rodgers led her team with 24 points and 16 rebounds, but Tina Fisher took Randall's challenge and stepped up her defensive game in order to wear Rodgers down to finish the game. And, as Robinson noted, “Their go-to player will score. That’s what go-to players do. But if you look at everybody else on the team, we did a good job containing them.”
The Bobcats also outshot the Falcons in both field goals and free throws. The Bobcats shot 84.6 percent from the foul line and made 43.4 percent of their attempted field goals. The Falcons shot 66.7 percent and 38.2 percent respectively. The Bobcats outscored the Falcons 33-24 in the second half to pull off the win.
The Bobcats travel to Buffalo on Saturday. A win against the Bulls would guarantee Ohio a top-eight seed and a home game in the Mid-American Conference tournament.