Updated Wed, Feb 19, 2014 11:20 pm
The Ohio Bobcats have had foul troubles throughout the course of their losing streak, and Wednesday night’s loss to Western Michigan was no different. The foul trouble handcuffed their presence down low on the way to their ninth consecutive loss, falling 71-64.
Quiera Lampkins and Destini Cooper both fouled out early in the second half, which gave the Broncos a huge advantage down low. Ohio shut out the Broncos’ top player Miracle Woods in the first half, but without Lampkins and Cooper she was able to thrive in the second half. Ohio also had four other players with four fouls when the final whistle blew.
Western Michigan broke the game open with an 8-0 run to give the Broncos a 39-31 lead, early in the second half. Six of those eight points were scored by Woods as she came into existence down low. Woods finished the game with 13 points and 9 rebounds.
The Broncos held the Bobcats to 20 points in the paint and forced Ohio to fall into their habitual play of launching up 3-pointers. The Bobcats attempted 54 shots from the field, 28 of which came from beyond the arch, showing just how reliant they became on the three.
Not only were the ‘Cats fouling, but they put the Broncos on the line multiple time with and-one opportunities. The Broncos were in the bonus early in both halves, but were unable to find success at the stripe. Western Michigan shot 42 free throws but only knocked down 22 of them. If the Broncos could have found more success at the line, the final score could have looked much worse.
However it was not all bad news for Ohio, as Kiyanna Black scored 27 points, knocking down seven of 12 shots from beyond the arch. It was her second fantastic game against the Broncos this season, as she dropped 29 points in the Bobcats’ 17-point win over Western Michigan just over a month ago. Unfortunately for Ohio, no one else could help take the load off of Black’s shoulders, as the next leading scorer for Ohio was Kat Yelle with 10 points.
The difference between the last time Ohio played Western Michigan and Wednesday’s game shows how much the Bobcats have struggled over the last month. The ‘Cats are currently dead last in the Mid-American Conference in field goal percentage and 11th in free throw percentage.
Consistency and predictability have become big problems for Ohio, as they seem to resort to the same strategy when their shots are not falling. For a majority of the second half, the Bobcats had all five players standing outside of the arch. This happens when the ‘Cats motion offense starts to become motionless.
With the loss, Ohio is now 8-16 (3-10) on the year and has yet to find a way out of this slump. The ‘Cats are trying to not head down the same road that they did last year when they lost 16 of their final 17 games.