Ohio Women’s Basketball Wins Back-To-Back, Beats UMass

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Despite Kiyanna Black going down with an injury in the first half, and a late game comeback attempt by UMass, the Bobcats won for the second straight day with a 59-52 victory to improve to 8-2 on the year.

Ohio struggled to score down the stretch, and let UMass get back into the game. The Minutewomen cut Ohio lead to five at 48-43 with 1:52 left. Kat Yelle came down and hit a big 3-pointer to put the Bobcats up eight with 1:20 left. On UMass’s next possession, Quiera Lampkins stole the ball, and Lexi Baldwin was fouled. Baldwin made both shots to bring the game to 53-44 with 56 seconds to go.

UMass stuck in the game, with a 3-pointer by Cierra Dillard that cut Ohio lead to six with 31 seconds to play. Yelle hit only two of her four following free throws attempts, and the Minutewomen hit another 3-point shot with 10 seconds to go.

With the game at 56-52, Yelle went to the line again, but this time she made both attempts, and put the game out of reach at 58-52. Yelle then stole the ball before UMass could even get a shot attempt, and made one more free throw to end the game.

For the second straight game, Ohio struggled coming out of the gates, taking a 3-2 lead with 15:55 after the first media timeout. After the slow start, the Bobcats began to put it together, both offensively and defensively. Ohio took a 17-6 lead with 10 minutes left in the half, which was the first double-digit lead of the game.

The Bobcats held UMass to single-digit points up until the six-minute mark in the half, as Ohio was up 22-10. Shortly after, Black drove through the lane for a layup and collided with a Massachusetts’s defender. Black went down holding her leg, and was helped off the court by two trainers. She emerged out of the locker room with a bag of ice on her ankle, and her shoe off.

After Black’s injury, Ohio was able to extend its lead to 15, and went into the locker room with a 28-17 lead. The Bobcats held UMass to 30.4 percent shooting during the first half, and registered nine turnovers.

The Bobcats came out of the locker room playing very well. At the first media timeout of the second half came, Ohio extended its lead to 37-21. The 16-point margin was the largest of the game, and the Bobcats defense was playing extremely well. UMass cut the lead to 10 at 39-29 with 11:55 to play. Ohio really struggled to score, only putting up two points during this four-minute stretch.

The Bobcats struggling offense kept UMass in the game as the Minutewomen were able to cut Ohio’s lead to single digits for the first time in the second half with six minutes to play at 43-35. The Bobcats quickly extended that lead back to double-digits, and took a 46-37 lead into the final media timeout with 3:59 left in the game.

Defense was the key to the game, as Ohio held UMass to 39 percent shooting in the game. The Bobcats also forced 20 turnovers, including three blocks and five steals. Ohio also grabbed 41 rebounds, including 20 offensive rebounds. This outnumbered UMass by seven, as the Minutewomen only registered 13 offensive boards.

Yelle had 13 points, eight of her points came from the free throw line, and two assists. The only other Bobcat to score in double digits was Lampkins who put up 12 points. Black had six points before her injury.

The Bobcats shot only 31 percent from the field, and 24 percent from 3-point land. Ohio shot 23 free throws, making 15 of them including six key makes with less than one minute to play.

Ohio returns to the court on Dec. 29 against Cleveland State, tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Convo.