Updated Mon, Feb 3, 2014 10:00 am
If it wasn’t apparent what the Ohio Bobcats’ game plan was before Sunday, it is extremely obvious now. The ‘Cats (8-12, 3-6) simply stuck to what they have been doing all season: shooting 3-pointers.
Every now and then they drove to the basket for a layup, but a majority of their play relied on the long ball. While this strategy has been effective against some teams, Central Michigan (13-8, 9-0) shut it down Sunday afternoon, beating the Bobcats 80-63.
The ‘Cats chucked up 31 threes against the Chippewas and only knocked down eight of them, shooting just over 25% from beyond the arc. It is beginning to seem as though teams might have caught on to the Bobcats’ style of play.
When the ‘Cats score 70 or more points, they are 6-0. When they are held under 70 points they are 2-12. During their five-game losing streak, the Bobcats have not scored over 70 points.
Only one of Ohio’s past five losses has been within double digits and this game was no different than any of the others. Central Michigan got off to a quick start and maintained a constant double-digit lead for almost the entirety of the second half.
The ‘Cats seemed groggy on offense as there was little to no movement when they had the ball. Most of their offensive possessions consisted of passing the ball around the point and taking several threes. A majority of those threes came out of the hands of Kiyanna Black, who knocked down five of her 17 attempts from long range and finished with 17 points.
That same lack of energy seemed to carry into their defensive play as they sent the Chippewas to the charity stripe 33 times.
Destini Cooper and Kat Yelle came off of the bench to try and spark some offensive production as they scored 15 and 13, respectively. Cooper also added eight rebounds.
Central Michigan is led by three 1,000-point scorers and it showed. In the second half the Chippewas shot nearly 52% from the field, making the ‘Cats pay for their missed opportunities at the other end.
Jas’Mine Bracey finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds and four other Central Michigan players hit double digits. The Chippewas took advantage of Ohio’s slower style of play, passing the ball all over the place opening up wide open looks from just about anywhere on the floor.
The loss dropped the ‘Cats to 8-12 overall and continued their losing skid. Central Michigan improved to 13-8 overall on the season. The Chippewas haven’t been 9-0 in conference play since the 1983-84 season. That same season, they went on to go a perfect 18-0 an win the MAC.
Coach Bob Boldon and the ‘Cats travel to Buffalo on Thursday, Feb. 6, as they look to end the slump against the Bulls who have posted a 12-8 (5-4) record so far this season.