Credit: Ohio Athletics

‘Cats Headed to WNIT Sweet 16

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Ohio (26-6) is one of the 16 teams remaining in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after defeating ACC foe Virginia Tech (18-14) 64-57 Sunday afternoon.

Virginia Tech was very ineffective in the first quarter of play. The Hokies tried to implement a flex zone. Ohio found gaps in that zone and attacked the paint scoring 18 of its 33 first half points down low. After being overpowered, Virginia Tech changed its game plan and went to man-to-man defense. The defensive switch made the contest a ball game.

Virginia Tech head coach Dennis Wolff explained after the contest that the Hokies do not normally play a zone. He credited film of Ohio playing Buffalo for the decision.

“They lost to Buffalo three times and Buffalo played the zone three times,” said coach Wolff. “(Buffalo) played a better zone than we tried to play at the beginning of this game.”

34 of Ohio’s 64 points came in the paint. The Bobcats proceeded to add 20 points off of the Hokies’ 17 turnovers.

However, Ohio did not shoot the rock well from behind the arch, shooting only 18 percent from deep.

“There was a time we couldn’t have won a basketball game shooting 18 percent from the three-point line,” Ohio coach Bob Boldon stated. “I think that speaks volumes to our ability to score and to guard,” Boldon said.

In the first half Ohio was 41 percent from the field.  The Hokies shot 30 percent from the field and a slim 22 percent from deep in the first half. Virginia Tech improved their offensive stats in half number two knocking down 40 percent of their shots from the field.

Ohio led the entirety of the contest. Putting aside the opening minutes, the closest Virginia Tech got to Ohio was the 4:56 mark of the third quarter. The margin came courtesy of Bob Boldon being issued a technical foul for what he felt should have been a non-call.

Down the stretch Ohio did what they are notorious for, closing out the basketball game. Thanks to the play of Quiera Lampkins who notched 14 points in the first half. She concluded the day with 26 points.

Kiyanna Black left the game with 4:12 remaining. She injured her shoulder and never returned to the contest. Boldon denied her request to re-enter in the closing seconds of the second half. Black had a quiet first half with only 3 points but would go on to add 10 more in the second half to raise her total to 13 points.

“(Her shoulder is) something she has dealt with for three years now,” Boldon added. “My best guess is whenever there is a basketball game again she will play. If I have learned anything about Kiyanna it’s she is going to play when there is a game.”

Ohio will continue to dance into March when they continue play in the third round of the WNIT in a date with Temple (22-11). The ‘Cats will travel to Philadelphia, tip-off is scheduled for 7pm.