Updated Wed, Nov 14, 2012 10:04 pm
Trailing 34-41 and with her teammates shouting for her to pass, freshman Lexie Baldwin shot and made a three that sparked a key run for the ‘Cats.
During that 10 minute run, the Lady ‘Cats scored 17 points to the Vikings five and went up 51-46. Ohio did not let up on offense or defense for the rest of the game, and eventually defeated Cleveland State 63-56.
Head Coach Semeka Randall was happy with her team's performance. “I’m very proud of the veteran players,” she said. “They set the tempo and motivated the freshmen to contribute. They were having fun, which is key in women’s college basketball.”
The biggest spark for Ohio was junior Shavon Robinson, who led the way with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and two assists. Senior Tina Fisher and sophomore Mariah Byard were also key players, as they scored 10 and 13 points, respectively.
Robinson saw her team improve since Ohio’s last game, an overtime win over Division-II Wheeling Jesuit in exhibition last Tuesday. “We had a better tempo this game,” she said. “We weren’t patient and our tempo was off against Wheeling Jesuit. We stuck to our personnel and played our tempo this game, and that’s why we won.”
The ‘Cats main focus was defense in this game. They recorded 12 steals, led by Byard and Ashley Fowler with 3 each, and forced 24 turnovers in total. Cleveland State only got to the foul line eight times, shooting 7-of-16 on free throws to Ohio’s 18-of-26 free throws. The Vikings were led by Horizon League Player of the Year candidate Shalonda Winton, who scored 24 points on 11-of-20 shooting and added 15 rebounds.
Ohio hopes to ride the momentum from this win into the Subway Classic preseason tournament in Minneapolis, which begins Saturday, Nov. 17. The Bobcats' first opponent is Minnesota, and that game tips off at 1 p.m.