Women’s Basketball: Benson’s Milestone Overshadowed By Ohio Squandering Halftime Lead

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Tenishia Benson, Ohio’s lone senior, eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark in her hometown, but her 19 points were not enough to propel the Bobcats past the Akron Zips. Akron won 71-65 on its home floor at James A. Rhodes Arena.

Despite being down 6-2 during the first couple minutes of play, the Bobcats performed well in the first half. Ohio had a 38-29 lead after the first 20 minutes of play and a lot of that lead had to do with what happened in the paint. The Bobcats outrebounded Akron 24-18 in the first half and had 20 points in the paint compared to the Zips’ 16. Ohio pulled down 10 offensive rebounds while Akron only had five. Benson had five of those offensive rebounds in the first half. The Green and White forced eight Akron turnovers, and scored nine points off those turnovers. Yet, the second half was a different story for the Bobcats. 

“In terms of the second half, we just came out flat," head coach Semeka Randall said. “We never got going the way we needed to.”

Akron came out of the locker room and quickly began to chip away at Ohio’s lead. Sina King had six points before the first four minutes of the second half passed. King led Akron for the night with 16 points. The game remained close down the stretch, but Ohio allowed Akron to shoot 51.6 percent from the field for the half and was outrebounded 20-13. A basket by Natasha Williams put Akron up by seven, 67-60 with about a minute and a half to go and put the lid on Ohio’s chances of coming out of the J.A.R. with a win. Despite the loss, Ohio’s balanced scoring continued. Shavon Robinson had 12 points and Porsha Harris had 10. Yet, a reoccurring problem for Ohio has been playing full 40 minutes of basketball.

“For [the team] to exert all that energy in 20 minutes and then not just gut it out the last 20 minutes, it’s a bad taste in my mouth,” Randall said.

A bright spot of the game was Benson reaching 1,000 points for her career, which will come to an end after this season. Of those points, 284 were from her time at University of Cinncinnati and 719 are attributed to her time at Ohio. For Benson, the moment was bittersweet. 

“You caught me in a bad spot, because we just lost,” Benson said. “But it’s big though. Something that most players don’t get a chance to get to.” 

Benson will be honored on Saturday when Kent State visits the Convocation Center for Senior Day. Saturday is also the “Play4Kay” game, where the players will wear pink uniforms in an effort to increase breast cancer awareness. Tip off is at 2 p.m.