Women’s Basketball: Bobcats Take Giant Step Back In Loss To Northern Illinois

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Ohio was on the wrong end of a highly contested game in Dekalb, IL Saturday, losing to MAC West rival Northern Illinois, 50-46.

The Bobcats traded punches with their opponent early before Northern Illinois took an 8-7 lead at 12:29 in the first half, just before the second media timeout. The Huskies would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.

Northern Illinois was aided by 16-point outings from senior Kim Davis and freshman Claire Jakubicek. Tenishia Benson scored a game high 18 points for Ohio in the losing effort.

Ohio Athletics did not make head coach Semeka Randall available for comment after the game.

The Bobcats’ recent shooting woes caught up with them again, as the team cashed in on only 17 of 55 looks (31 percent). Second-leading scorer Shavon Robinson was cold from the floor, going only 1-9 for three points. Her four fouls also kept her off the floor for much of the game.

Ohio also shot only 2-14 from beyond the arc. Sharpshooters Mariah Byard and Erin Bailes were a combined 0-7 from the floor (all three point field goals) for just two points. Bailes scored a career high 23 points against the Huskies in the first round of last season’s MAC tournament the last time Ohio was in Dekalb.

Porsha Harris returned from suspension for Ohio and scored 11 points on 5-11 shooting with four rebounds. Harris had been working her way back into the rotation after missing four games with a knee injury sustained against Buffalo on January 4, however, her role in an altercation against Central Michigan cost her two games. Her 25 minutes Saturday were the most she has played since December 29.

While Ohio received good minutes from Harris for the first time since conference play began, it had to suit up without Alesia Howard Saturday. Howard was injured in practice Friday night after being struck in the face. Her absence was critical, as Ohio was outrebounded 41-29 and gave up 36 points in the paint. Howard is the fifth player from Ohio’s starting lineup to miss a game due to injury this season.

With Saturday’s loss, Ohio falls to 1-7 on the road this season and 1-4 against the MAC West. The Bobcats (10-14, 3-7 MAC) will finish inter-division play against Ball State (8-15, 3-7 MAC) at home February 11.