Bobcats Struggle with Shooting in Cleveland State Loss

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Nine-of-46. That’s what the Ohio Bobcats (4-3) shot from the three-point line as their early season shooting struggles costed them again in their 71-64 loss on the road Wednesday morning to the Cleveland State Vikings (6-2).

The Bobcats showcased why they are a team that lives and dies by the three-point shot and their shooting beyond the arc sunk their hopes for a comeback win. The Bobcats trailed by as many as 25 late in the third quarter and cut the deficit to four in the closing minutes of the game, but the poor shooting effort doomed the Bobcats from the start.

With the Bobcats reeling early on, the Vikings saw their opportunity to jump ahead and they did in a big way.

Vikings guard Ashanti Upshaw was sizzling from downtown, knocking down her first four triples of the game. Her and forward Olivia Voskuhl scored 23 of the Viking’s 31 points and they outscored the entire Bobcat team in the first half. Upshaw led the team with a game-high 21 points with Voskuhl following right behind her with 19.

Upshaw led the Vikings to an 8-0 start to the game, which prompted Bobcats head coach Bob Boldon to surprisingly make an entire lineup change.

He was trying to send a message not only to his starters but his whole team that it was time to wake up.

But, it didn’t matter who Boldon stuck in the game, no one could hit a shot for the vast majority of the game. The team shot a pedestrian 28.4 percent (21-of-74) for the game.

These are two teams going in different directions — the Vikings winners of four straight and six of their last seven, while the Bobcats have now dropped their last two, including three of their last four.

Boldon is still trying to figure out early on who he can count on to go get him a bucket. Freshman guard Cierra Hooks continues to prove in the early stretches of the season, she might be the answer.

Hooks (11.8 points a game) again was the spark that Boldon has counted on early in the season off the bench as she had 14 points. Sophomore Amani Burke (10.8 points a game) led the Bobcats with 18 points.

The Bobcats look to find their shooting stroke when they travel to Purdue on Sunday with tip-off set for 2 p.m.