Credit: Ohio Athletics

Ohio Women’s Basketball Falls in Season Opener

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After a dominating first quarter by Ohio women’s basketball, it appeared that the Bobcats were on their way to a convincing, season-opening win over Illinois. But after going cold in the second quarter, the ‘Cats were never able to regain their early momentum, and fell 62-53 on Sunday.

Leading the Bobcats in their strong 23-11 first quarter performance was Kiyanna Black, who had nine points in the quarter. But after their hot start, the script seemed to completely flip in favor of the Fighting Illini who dominated the second and third quarters.

After falling down by 13 to the ‘Cats, Illinois played extremely tough defense and held the Bobcats to just five points in the second quarter. On the other side of the ball, the Illini were able claw their way back into the game behind strong play from Chatrice White. At the end of the half the Bobcats were up just 28-26.

The third quarter was another rough one for the Bobcats, as the Illini tied the game at 28 with just under eight minutes remaining in the third. From there Illinois proceeded to take its first lead of the game with 4:48 remaining. The home team continued to force Bobcat mistakes down low, and it constantly drew fouls. By the end of the third the Illini has 17 foul shots.

With the Bobcats on the wrong end of a 42-38 score, the teams continued to go back and forth as they let their top scorers go at it. For the Illini it was White, who hit a big shot with 49 seconds left in the game that pushed her team’s lead to five points. White finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

For the Bobcats it was Kiyanna Black who looked to keep them in the game. Her 18 points were not enough to close the gap. The Bobcats simply made too many mistakes in the game with turnovers and errant fouls.

The Bobcats face Florida Gulf Coast on Friday in the Akron Classic held in Akron, Ohio, and they look to join the Ohio men’s team in taking down the Eagles.