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Bobcats use a balance of solid offense and defense to down Akron

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Even though it didn’t go as scripted, the Ohio Bobcats found a way to earn a scrappy 85-69 road win Wednesday, against the Akron Zips, bouncing back from a tough loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday.

Things started off smooth for Ohio, as they connected on six 3-point field goals in the first quarter, continuing the recent tear they’ve had offensively from beyond the arc.

The Zips fought back, nearly flipping the script on the Bobcats in the second quarter, thanks to hot starts from guards Hannah Plybon, Alex Ricketts and Megan Sefcik. The guards scored 30 of the Zips 37 first half points, including 16 in the second quarter, giving their team momentum.

Akron wasn’t able to sustain this lead, as they failed to hit a shot in the last five minutes leading into halftime. The Bobcats responded to their opponents cold shooting with an 8-0 run, which gave them a huge confidence boost and lead of three at halftime.

Quiera Lampkins and Jasmine Weatherspoon’s second-half performances were crucial in helping the Bobcats combat Akron’s dominant guards.

After a quiet first half of only four points, Lampkins found a rhythm in the second half, scoring 11 of her 15 points. Weatherspoon finished with a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds. The two guards combined for 49 points, accounting for over half of team’s scoring.

On the other end of the court, Ohio’s also made its presence felt throughout the night.

Despite strong offensive games from Ricketts, Plybon and Sefcik, the Bobcats defense prevented Akron from taking advantage of many scoring opportunities throughout the game. The Zips shot just 36.8% from field, which proved costly against the solid shooting Bobcats.

This balance between offense and defense will be essential for Ohio, as they head into the second half of their campaign.

Following a series of road games, the Bobcats return to the Convocation Center to host Kent State on Saturday, in hopes of building their MAC East lead.