Women’s Basketball: Bad Defensive Second Half Dooms Ohio At Buffalo

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It was the second game of the week for Ohio women’s basketball that came down to the final possessions, but this game did not fall in Ohio’s favor as the Bobcats fell to the University at Buffalo Bulls 61-56. The Bobcats fall to 6-9 in conference play, while the Bulls improve to 4-11.

The game was close for a full 40 minutes. The Bobcats held a 22-19 lead after the first twenty minutes, and led by any many as eight at a point in the second half, but Buffalo’s leading scorer, Brittney Hedderson, went on a run to help push her team ahead. Hedderson was very quiet in the first half, only scoring two points. She came out of the locker room ready to make some noise on Senior Day though and scored 16 points in the second half.

“We knew she was a player that has done amazing things in the conference this season and this was her senior day and she wasn’t going to go out on that,” Ohio head coach Semeka Randall said.

Helping Hedderson lead her team to victory was Teresa Semalulu. Semalulu finished the game with 15 points and six rebounds.

Ohio had a chance to come back from behind in the end after Mariah Byard hit a crucial three pointer with 13.6 seconds to go. Ohio intentionally fouled to send Christa Baccas to the line, where she hit two foul shots to put Buffalo back up by three. With 12.7 seconds left on the clock, Ohio had one last chance to make something happen on offense. Yet, two Bobcats lost control of the ball and couldn’t put anything together. Ohio fouled again and Beth Christensen added two more points to the scoreboard to close out the victory for Buffalo.

Tenishia Benson led the ‘Cats with 16 points and nine rebounds, but lost the ball twice on the final offensive possession of the game. Erin Bailes had 10 points and Tina Fisher had nine points and five boards. Despite the loss, Ohio had an impressive performance in the post, with Fisher leading the way down low. The Bobcats held the Bulls’ main post prescence, Nytor Longar, to five points, when she is averaging 9.5 points per game this season. Nytor had close to average rebounding numbers with six for the game, but Ohio outrebound Buffalo as a team 39-36.

“We are beginning to become a lot stronger,” Ohio forward Tina Fisher said. “Our team is a little bit undersized post wise compared to other teams in the MAC, but we are just using our quickness and our foot speed and that throws the other team off a little bit.”  

Ohio wraps up the regular season on the road on Tuesday with a trip to Oxford, Ohio to play Miami.  Miami currently sits second in the MAC East behind Bowling Green with a conference record of 10-5.