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Photo Cred: Sarah Stier | Ohio Athletics
Photo Cred: Sarah Stier | Ohio Athletics

Kent State Beats Ohio in Overtime

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Before Wednesday’s game against the Central Michigan Chippewas, the talk around Athens was whether the Ohio Bobcats could win the Mid-American Conference. Those ideas are now less likely since the Bobcats (18-7, 9-5) endured their second consecutive defeat with an 83-77 overtime loss to the Kent State Golden Flashes.

After today’s win, the Golden Flashes hold the first seed in the MAC East and the Bobcats fall to fifth in the conference, overall.

The game was competitive throughut. The back-and-forth action led to the score differential being within single-digits at the end of each quarter. Ohio was forced to fight their way their back at the end, being down 64-58 with 1:12 to go. They crawled back thanks to clutch points and a little luck.

Ohio forward Kelly Karlis nearly stole what appeared to be a Golden Flashes’ victory after stripping the inbounds pass and making a layup with .2 seconds remaining, forcing overtime.

Karlis gave the Bobcats momentum they planned to capitalize on going into the extra period.

Instead, Kent State (15-11, 9-5), who outscored Ohio 12-6 in overtime, finished victorious and completed a season series sweep. The Bobcats’ back-to-back losses have come against MAC teams, Kent State and Central Michigan, who are only two opponents to top Ohio twice this year.

The reasons for Ohio’s recent slide are their lack of evenly distributed scoring and lackluster defense against high-scoring opponents.

Ohio’s offensive woes continued as they went just 37.3 percent from the field, today. This barely outdid Wednesday’s 30 percent shooting performance.

Ohio has struggled to support its main scorers. Quiera Lampkins led all Bobcat scores with 18, and Yamonie Jenkins, Taylor Agler and bench presence Dominique Doseck had 11 points, apiece. The four accounted for 51 of the 77 Ohio points.

Ohio’s inability to slow down high-scoring players and offenses bit them, once again.

Following Central Michigan’s Cassie Breen putting on shooting exhibition Wednesday, Golden Flashes’ Larissa Lurken, who averages 22.9 points per game, burned the Bobcats with a game-high 31 points and 12-of-13 shooting from the charity stripe.

Ohio also struggled to contain their opponent’s balanced offensive attack. Four Kent State players finished in double-figures, totaling 75 of their 83 points, combined with Lurken scoring.

The Bobcats must do some urgent soul searching to overcome these issues and win games again.

They travel to Buffalo on Wednesday before returning to the Convocation Center to welcome rival Miami (OH) next Saturday.