Women’s Basketball: Ohio Drops Another MAC Contest

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Hoping to take advantage of a weeklong respite from any game play, the Bobcats took to the floor hours after an overtime thriller ravaged the Convo. Yet, Ohio (5-18, 0-11 MAC) dropped another Mid-American Conference contest to Western Michigan (9-15, 5-6 MAC), 62-49.

With fiery play in the first 20 minutes, the flame was put out in the second half of play, where the Bobcats shot below 19-percent from the field.

 “We did our jobs in terms of attacking the basket, we just didn’t finish the play,” head coach Semeka Randall said. Ohio made 18 shots on 59 attempts throughout the game, with only six shots dropping in the second half.

The volatile change of events left the Bobcats searching for answers after the game had finished, and overall inconsistency from the team was a key reason for a second half disaster.“We didn’t have KB (Kiyanna Black) who usually, with point production, helps us out. She gets struggling where she took the first couple of shots, and if they didn’t go in, she took herself completely out of the game. Now, you’re hoping someone else will step up, and usually that’s Erin Bailes, but she struggled shooting the basketball [as well],” Randall said. Black and Bailes shot a combined 2-of-16 from the field, with Black missing all seven attempts in her nine minutes of play.

Ohio relied heavily on Shavon Robinson and Mariah Byard, who had 16 and 13 points, respectively. Having returned from injuries just games before, both players appeared to be near full-strength, but without a steady support from teammates. 

Western Michigan came out of the gates running, taking an 8-0 lead in the first five minutes of play. The Broncos kept an eight-point margin on the Bobcats until the 10:16 mark, where a Fowler three ignited an 11-0 run. Byard had eight points including two threes in this span. Ohio finished the half on a 15-4 run, much in part to Byard’s 11 points in the first half.

Catching just a glimpse of solid play in the first half struck players with how the team used to play earlier in the season.

“The first half felt like how we used to play and how we would like to play all the time,” Byard said. “There are a lot of things that lead to the other team having a 14-0 run, and we just have to finish.”

Ohio gave up its lead early in the second half of play, letting Western Michigan tie the game at 37 apiece. Ohio regained a six-point advantage, but let the Broncos go on a 14-0 run that defined the conclusion of the game. In a near 11-minute span, which included the scoring run by Western, the Bobcats were held to just three points.

“We missed a lot of shots in the paint, it’s not like we were settling for jump shots,” said Randall of the team’s second half shooting. Ohio had just eight points in the paint in the second half and 22 points on the day.  

“(The) first half, shots were falling, things felt good. We were up then the turn of events happened, and then we just didn’t shoot well,” said Symone Lyles, who finished with seven points and nine boards. 

Ohio will play at Kent State on Wednesday, hoping to grab their first MAC victory of the season. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m.