Photo Cred: Karli Bell

Ohio Women Earn First Postseason Win in School History

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In the first ever Women’s National Invitational Tournament visit for Ohio Women’s basketball (25-6) the ‘Cats defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd (21-12), 76-68, to claim their first postseason victory in school history.

In the early portion the ‘Cats owned the Thundering Herd on the defensive side of the basketball. Their offense was not too shabby either but struggled at times. Ohio held a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. They shut down Marshall whom only shot 14-percent in the first quarter.

By the second quarter Ohio had lost its swagger. Marshall started on a 15-4 run and quadrupled what they totaled in the first quarter, in just five minutes of the second quarter.

Ohio did what the Bobcats do best — take over the ball game. Norrisha Victrum received a technical foul in the closing seconds that helped Ohio secure its victory. Victrum swiped Yamonie Jenkins in the faced and that technical was also her fifth personal foul of the evening and dashing the hopes from the Thundering Herd.

“That is a 21 win team who played in their conference championship and as we have seen all year, we are pretty good defensively when we are locked in,” said coach Boldon postgame. “But, it doesn’t take a lot of slippage for good teams to take advantage of you.”

The Bobcats went onto sink free throw opportunities, while concluding the evening shooting an impressive 89-percent from behind the charity stripe.

Kiyanna Black continued her dominant senior campaign dropping 32 points and grabbing seven boards. She shot 47 percent from deep on the night.

“I think this is a big accomplishment for this program to continue to move forward,” senior guard Kiyanna Black said. “I know we were pretty upset when we lost in the tournament but just to know that this team hasn’t won a postseason game before it’s just a little bit exciting and makes things a little bit better,” Black added.

The first half Ohio played fairly clean basketball. The Bobcats limited themselves to only five turnovers in the first half. Marshall was out-rebounded 26-19 in half number one and that lasted throughout the contest. 14 of Ohio’s 36 points at the break, came courtesy of the bench. Ohio’s bench went on to add 24 points 13 of which came from redshirt freshman Kelly Karlis. Senior Kiyanna Black matched the bench’s first half effort with 14 points of her own at the half.

A buzzer-beater for Black did not fall at the break, however Ohio extended its 36-32 lead into the second half. The Bobcats led 36-32 at the half and went on to shoot 34 percent on the night, while also limiting turnovers. Ohio finished with a slim nine turnovers on the evening while forcing 17 of its own.

“Once you get here and you realize how good the teams are that are in this tournament,” said Boldon afterwards.  “You got a new challenge and that (NCAA tournament) opportunity is gone but we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us and I think I have a team that is pretty excited about that opportunity,” Boldon added.

The ‘Cats will take on Virginia Tech (18-13) in the second round of the WNIT at 2pm in the Convocation Center this Sunday, March 20. This is the Hokies first postseason appearance since 2007.