Ohio Women’s Basketball Team Loses Heartbreaker in MAC Tournament< < Back to
CLEVELAND – For the second straight year, the Ohio Women’s basketball team’s season ends in heartbreak.
A year ago, the Bobcats blew a 22-point led against the Northern Illinois Huskies in the 2017 Mid-American Conference quarterfinal.
Wednesday afternoon, the fifth-seeded Bobcats (16-15, 9-9 MAC) led for 30-plus minutes against archrival and the fourth-seeded Miami RedHawks (21-9, 12-6 MAC), only to let the game slip out of their hands to lose 69-66.
Not being able to make THE play was the story for the Bobcats this season.
Senior guard Taylor Agler missed a go-ahead 3-pointer against Buffalo in a four-point loss on Jan. 17th.
Junior guard Katie Barker also missed what would’ve been the game-winning 3-pointer in a two-point loss against MAC regular-season champion Central Michigan on Feb. 7th.
Again, they both had opportunities on the biggest stage.
The Bobcats trailed by one as Agler kicked to Barker from the top of the key to regain the lead, but again, Barker fell short.
One last chance for the Bobcats down by three, with three seconds to go.
Agler was given the chance: a 3-pointer that would’ve sent the game to overtime – the final shot of her collegiate career didn’t even graze iron.
Even though the shots down the stretch didn’t fall, Agler hung her head high after the game.
“We got a lot of good looks that we usually make, we usually make more of our layups, we usually make those three’s, so, I don’t think that’s anything to be disappointed about,” Agler said. “We have a really good team and we usually make those shots, so there’s nothing more than to keep creating those shots.”
The Bobcats are now 5-17 in MAC quarterfinal games; to try and beat those odds were even harder when they lost both their top-two scorers within the first 20 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Sophomore guard Amani Burke fouled out with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.
Freshman guard Cierra Hooks then joined her 20 seconds into the fourth quarter when she also fouled out.
The RedHawks saw the opportunity with the Bobcats soul searching for someone to step up offensively and they made their run.
Sophomore Lauren Dickerson and Junior forward Kendall McCoy scored the teams’ first six points of the fourth frame that put the RedHawks up for good.
The duo were Bobcat killers in the teams’ three meetings this year as they helped complete the three-game sweep of the Bobcats this year.
McCoy (five points, 1-of-6) had an off game, but Dickerson was brilliant (23 points), and once again, made the plays late in the game to win it.
After a Kayla Brown layup, the RedHawks had their biggest lead of the game at eight, but the Bobcats didn’t give up.
Agler and Barker scored the team’s next six points to get the game back down to one possession.
But Dickerson played to her First-Team All-MAC selection as she got fouled, absorbed an elbow from Junior forward Kendall Jessing, and made an acrobatic floater to make it a two-score game.
Dickerson made THE play that Barker and Agler didn’t.
Barker and Agler had their chance, but fell short.
Dominique Doseck Shines in the first Half
The Bobcats played almost as good as a first half as they have all year. They shot 9-of-15 (60%) from three — led by Dominique Doseck, who was 4-of-5 from distance — paced the Bobcats with 15 points.
Doseck hit three of her four threes from the left corner. She helped lead the Bobcats to a 12-2 start and was an integral part of the offense early on.
Doseck was happy with the start but acknowledged the second half woes.
“[The RedHawks] left the layup open, we just didn’t convert, we didn’t make enough of them to win the game clearly,” Doseck said.
Doseck keyed on stopping RedHawks junior forward Kendall McCoy, who scored 21 points in the teams’ game last Wednesday, but said that the difference was on the offensive side of the ball.
” Kendall [McCoy] and [Lauren Dickerson] are obviously their two best players, so the strategy going in was to do as much as we could to stop them,” Doseck said. “So I mean, I think we did our job, but I think if we would have got going on the offensive end, it wouldn’t have made a difference.”
In three games against the RedHawks this season, Doseck averaged 15 points-per-game. That’s the highest point average she had against any conference opponent this season.
Dominique Doseck is an Athens, Ohio native and she talked about how she made that transition from high school to college ball.
Looking Ahead for the Bobcats
There’s plenty of silver linings for the Bobcats. Many people did not think this team would finish inside the top-five after losing four of their five starters a season ago.
Nearly knocking off the top-two teams in the Convocation Center this year in Buffalo and Central Michigan, this team showed they can compete with the elite of the conference.
Next year, the Bobcats will return everyone except Agler, the lone senior, who felt she left her mark on this team.
“Knowing that this was my last year, I wanted to try to make a positive impact on everybody, especially the freshmen,” Agler said. “So, I think my biggest thing this year was just to try to be a positive leader because I’ve always believed in positive leadership and making sure everyone knows on my team how great they are.”
This game will be a learning experience for Burke, Hooks, and freshman Gabby Burris. They will remember the pain of losing this game.
After being so close two years in a row, the Bobcats could be on the cusp of breaking through and Boldon thinks this will make his team better going forward.
“Obviously, the last two years have been tough coming up here,” Boldon said. “We provided very good entertainment, come out on the wrong side twice. I think that often makes kids tougher and tougher and stronger, and I think they’ll be poised to come back and be a better basketball team next year.”
Boldon and the Bobcats will await to see if they will find out March 12th if they will be playing in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).