Photo Cred: Ohio Athletics

Blocks Leading Down Low Dominance

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The Ohio women’s basketball team (17-3), sports a perfect 9-0 record in MAC play this year as improved play in the paint solidifies their dominance.

The two main contributors for this intimidating down low play style are senior Lexie Baldwin and junior Jasmine Weatherspoon. Both players made major strides this off season to become better players and in turn, making this Bobcat squad a better team. These two Bobcats have helped the team reach 4.9 blocks per game, which leads the entire conference.

“I put in a lot more work over the summer and in Canada, did what I had to do to fill the role and help my team win,” Weatherspoon said. Weatherspoon has done exactly that, help her team win. In the ‘Cats game against Eastern Michigan Weatherspoon had eight blocks, an Ohio record.

“It brings a lot of energy, teams start to think twice about driving into the paint, and if she doesn’t get the block she alters their shot and that’s what we need,” Kiyanna Black said when asked about Weatherspoon.

Those eight blocks helped Weatherspoon reach 70 in her career, which ranks fourth in Ohio’s record books, one spot behind no one other than fellow teammate Lexie Baldwin. Baldwin sits at third in Ohio University history in blocks with 38. “Top 10 is just icing on the cake, we do what we have to do to help our team win,” Weatherspoon said. Though when asked about one another, both had nothing but good things to say.

“I love her, we are good friends off the court and we are good on the court,” Baldwin said about Weatherspoon, who reciprocated the love saying their relationship had definitely grown both on and off the court.

Both players know that it is their duty to protect the basket. “I protect the paint, that is my job for the game…doing what I need to do to help the team win,” Weatherspoon said.

“As long as it [the ball] is around her, she can get it,” fellow teammate Black said on Baldwin’s rebounding abilities. They take pride in what they are able to accomplish and love blocking shots as they can feel the energy elevate every time they do.

“I get a couple bumps and high fives, ‘yeah Jasmine tell her to get that out of here’, you know what this is my house, gimmie all of that,” Weatherspoon said.

Not only are Weatherspoon and Baldwin dominant on the defensive side of the ball, but they both are making plays on offense as well. Baldwin eluded to a better shot selection and hard work over the off season that gave rise to her improvement with scoring.

Weatherspoon understands that the Bobcats are undersized and she needs to “out work them, I can jump pretty high not to toot my own horn, it is just my effort and how much I put into it in order to be better than them.”

Coach Bob Boldon has noticed this improvement stating “you can’t change your height but you can change how hard you work and how well you prepare.” Boldon understands how big of a part these women play on this team as “two, not just one but two young ladies can make such a play, “Boldon said.

When asked about his two stars down low, Boldon had this to say: “To see them prepare well and to succeed, to me is probably the ultimate satisfaction.”