Updated Thu, Feb 6, 2014 3:00 pm
Two defensive schemes clashed in Alumni Arena on Thursday afternoon. Ohio’s tight man-to-man defense and vigilant ball pressure, combined with Buffalo’s stable and strong 2-3 zone made for a defensive battle.
The margin was within single digits for most of the contest, but a late left-wing 3-pointer from Buffalo’s Mackenzie Loesing, with the outstretched arm of Hannah Boesinger in her face, put Buffalo up 47-43 with under three to play. An 11-0 Buffalo (13-8, 5-5) run concluded the game, as the Bulls topped Ohio 55-43.
Prior to Loesing’s crucial trey, Buffalo had gone 0 for 9 from beyond the arc. Ohio’s 3-point game did not fare much better, as they only shot 3 of 19 from downtown.
From the opening tip, the ‘Cats looked aggressive on both ends of the floor. Second-chance opportunities presented themselves in the form of offensive boards and Buffalo turnovers and fouls. Queira Lampkins continued her aggression on drives to the hoop, drawing fouls from forward Kristen Starkey and limiting the offensive threat’s minutes throughout the game.
Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, Lampkins and her teammates rarely had a clean look at the basket. Buffalo’s defense provided quick help on drives and did not give 3-point shooters any room with which to operate.
Ohio’s defense flustered the Bulls in the opening stanza, forcing questionable passes and awkward shot selections. The home squad lacked offensive rhythm against an energetic Ohio squad.
Going into the half, Loesing scored 10 of her team’s 18 points.
A reoccurring theme for this Ohio squad has been terrific second-half performances from opponents. Today was no different.
Buffalo’s Margeaux Guplian took control of the offense and became a facilitator for her teammates. Her quick first step took her to the second level of the Ohio defense, where she had the option of feeding the low-post player or kicking out for a mid-range shot. She finished the game with 10 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Both teams continued to scrap under the hoop, but it would be Buffalo that won the rebound battle 47-39. Destini Cooper and Kat Yelle collected seven rebounds each, but Starkey and Alexus Malone controlled the glass with a combined 26 rebounds.
Each team committed 16 turnovers, but the final result can be attributed to poor shooting on Ohio’s part. The ‘Cats passed on several open looks which milked the shot clock down into the single digits and forced tough looks. Ohio finished the day only shooting 25 percent from the floor.
The loss extends Ohio’s losing streak to six and their record to 8-13, and 3-7 in the MAC. They will look to break the streak Sunday against an Eastern Michigan squad that has struggled against conference competition.