Updated Thu, Nov 29, 2012 9:31 pm
Updated Thu, Nov 29, 2012 9:31 pm
Looking to rebound after a three-game losing skid, Ohio could not capitalize on a 21 point, career-high game by freshman Kiyanna Black and fell the University of Massachusetts 65-61.
The Minutewomen led most of the game, as the Bobcats only held the lead during the first three minutes of play.
At the half, the Bobcats trailed 31-27, despite 10 first half points by Black. Black continued to be dominant for the remainder of the game, going 9-20 from the field. No other player on the Bobcats reached double figures, but Ashley Fowler added nine and Mariah Byard, Shavon Robinson and Tina Fowler each had eight points for the day.
“Today, she [Kiyanna] attacked the basket with a purpose, she didn’t always settle for jump shots and that’s what her and Shavon [Robinson] do so well,” said head coach Semeka Randall.
Randall saw Black’s breakout game as a high point for the Bobcats, but still noted the team on its collaborative effort. “Clearly, there were a lot of missed shots out there on the floor,” said Randall. “I’m not talking jump shots, but a lot of missed layups that attributed to our loss.”
Noting the extensive time in practice spent on shooting, Randall attributed the poor shooting (the Bobcats shot 32% on the game) from a mental perspective.
“We’re getting amazing looks at the basket and those kids can’t beat themselves up,” said Randall. “But they’ve got to be more mentally strong and tough.”
Ohio led only once in the first half and trailed by as much as 11 with 18:45 left in the second half. Despite an 8-0 run by the Bobcats, the Green and White failed to take a lead. The 'Cats kept UMass’ lead to single digits, but failed to defend against a Massachusetts offense that shot 52% in the second half.
Doubling UMass’ turnover total in the first half (10-5), Ohio struggled to retain possession, but limited the Minutewomen's points off turnovers to 10 for 40 minutes. Ohio had five turnovers in the second half for a plus-six turnover margin for the game.
Ohio’s inability to limit Emily Mital and Jasmine Harris from three-point range -- 5-for-9 combined -- proved frustrating, especially with the Green and White only making three three-point shots all game.
“[It was our] inability to defend [UMass],” said Randall on three-point shots. “A couple of times we tried to change up pressing them and they [UMass] did a great job of putting their shooters in the corners and they had wide-open looks. When we trapped, they [UMass] did an excellent job of passing it out of the trap.”
The Minutemen blocked 11 shots by the Bobcats, including a blocked layup that Black attempted with less than 25 seconds left in the game, which proved to be the last attempt at tying the game.
Statistics aside, Randall commented on the morale of the team.
“It sucks,” she said, noting that team has been working hard, but cannot seem to break through mental barriers preventing them from their full potential.
The team is now off to a 1-4 start, with their lone win against Cleveland State. They face Detroit on Sunday afternoon at home, who stands behind forward Shareta Brown. Brown is coming off a 35-point performance against Western Michigan and is averaging 24.3 points per game.
Detroit is 3-3 on the year and has lost by a combined 19 points in those three losses. In their second exhibition game at the beginning of the season, Detroit outscored Marygrove in a noteworthy performance, 125-35.
The game is at 2 p.m. in the Convocation Center.