Credit: Ohio Athletics

Lampkins Shines on Senior Day

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It looked for a moment that the Ohio Bobcats had gone back into their shooting funk that caused them to lose three games in a row.

At the two-minute mark in the third quarter, the Bobcats caught fire and ran away from-last place Akron to win 62-48 in the regular season finale.

That light bulb went off at the 1:46 mark of the third quarter as the Bobcats went on a 7-0 run and a 15-6 run to close the third quarter leading by 13 and from there coasting to victory.

The Bobcats (21-8, 12-6) started slower than usual Saturday. Part of that could have been a result of the nerves of senior day. The Bobcats allowed the Zips (9-20, 2-16) to race out to hot start early in the first half.

In their past two wins, the Bobcats corrected their shooting struggles by shooting nearly 50 percent from the field which allowed them to get back on track late in the year.

However, that was not the case Saturday as the Bobcats got off to a slow start, shooting less than 30 percent from the field, a flashback to their recent three game losing skid in which the Bobcats shot worse than 35 percent in the losses.

That alarming trend continued in this game, but there were two things that made a difference: stingy defense and timely buckets.

When the team struggles on the offensive end, it usually translates into unmotivated defense. The Bobcats made sure today that their defensive intensity wouldn’t be affected by their poor shooting performance.

The Zips’ field goal percentage wasn’t much better. As a team, they shot just 29 percent from the field, a large reason why this team finished at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference East Division this year.

The Bobcats finally woke up late in third quarter to make sure they wouldn’t give the last place Zips anything to smile about heading into the MAC Tournament.

The Bobcats made key halftime adjustments to get leading scorer Quiera Lampkins her usual high percentage looks on offense. The Zip’s game plan worked to perfection in the first half, limiting the senior to just two points.

But on her senior day, there was no way that Lampkins would walk out a loser on her home floor. It was her mission to will this team to a win.

Lampkins took over the second half, scoring 10 points in the third quarter to help the Bobcats build their largest lead of 16. Lampkins paced the Bobcats with a team-high 14 points.

But once again, Lampkins was aided by rising freshman star Amani Burke.

Burke came off the bench to score 12 points and spark the Bobcats offensively.

Burke is coming off a career-high 21 points in the team’s win over Miami on Feb. 25. Burke has really found her niche in this offense and continues to provide a 1-2 scoring punch with Lampkins that will make the Bobcats a tough out in the MAC Tournament.

The Bobcats will now shift their focus from the high emotions of senior day as they gear up for Cleveland—the site of the MAC Tournament.

The Bobcats just missed the cut to be to have a bye to Cleveland as the top four seeds receive a first round bye. As a result of their costly three game losing streak, the Bobcats will host No. 12 seeded Eastern Michigan in the Convocation Center Monday.

If the Bobcats win, they will head to play No. 4 Northern Illinois in the quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena.

For the Zips, they limp into the tournament as the 12 seed as they will take on Toledo in the first round.