Players line up to shake hands after the Women’s Basketball game against Western Michigan University on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. The Bobcats won with a score of 80-66, with Katie Barker scoring 18 points on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. (WOUB / Drake S. Withers)

Clutch Free Throws Give Central Michigan Win Over Ohio

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The Ohio Bobcats women’s basketball team traveled to Central Michigan looking to keep their four-game winning streak alive but dropped a close one 64-59 to the Chippewas.

Both teams were battling for the Mid-American Conference top spot, having just two conference losses, respectively, heading into tonight.

The Bobcats came out firing in the first half. They made a statement with their precise shooting in the first quarter, when Central Michigan transitioned from a man-to-man defense to zone. The Bobcats drained three consecutive 3-pointers to end the first half with a 29-24 advantage.

The Bobcats trailed 43-40 entering the fourth quarter and failed to get over the hump. Ohio battled with the Chippewas for the last 10 minutes of the game, managing to keep the score close.  Central Michigan took advantage of the charity strike when it mattered most, countering Ohio’s late scores.

The trailing Bobcats were forced to send the Chippewas to the foul line to stop the clock.

Quiera Lampkins wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. Lampkins buried a 3-pointer to cut her opponent’s lead to 58-57 with just 14 seconds left.

Central Michigan drilled two free throws on the following possession, advancing their lead to 60-57. Once again, Lampkins drove down the court and laid it in, bringing the Bobcat deficit back to one with nine seconds remaining.

A turnover the next time down the court forced Ohio to foul again, following the Chippewas two charity shot makes. The Chippewas hit two more free throws, sealing a 5-point victory at the final buzzer.

Lampkins led all scorers with 24 points and six rebounds. Hannah Boesinger contributed a double-double with 10 points and rebounds, apiece.

Central Michigan pounded the ball in the paint at will, scoring numerous baskets near the rim.  Rebounding proved to be a problem for the Bobcats all game, as the Chippewas earned multiple second-chance opportunities through their tenacity on the offensive glass. Ohio must increase their intensity on both sides of the court to avoid these future losses.

The Bobcats (16-5, 7-3) hope to get back on track as they host the Toledo Rockets on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.