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[Bryan Kurp | WOUB]

Ohio Women’s Basketball sneaks into MAC Tournament despite loss at Kent State

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KENT, Ohio (WOUB) — Saturday was a bizarre day for the Ohio women’s basketball team.

Players had tears in their eyes as the final buzzer sounded at the M.A.C Center.  Ohio (15-13, 9-10 MAC) had just dropped an essentially must-win game to Kent State (18-11, 10-10 MAC) in an offensive struggle, 59-50.

Head coach Bob Boldon sounded as if the Bobcats’ season was over in his postgame media availability.

But the season is not over.

A few hours later, after all the games in the conference were complete, the Bobcats got the news that they were headed to Cleveland.

Ohio slips into the tournament thanks to a tiebreaker policy that was enforced last season during the pandemic and was upheld this year.  The Bobcats played one less game than most of the other teams in the MAC because their game at Ball State was canceled.

It is wild seeing Ohio (9-10) get in over Kent State (10-10) after the Golden Flashes just defeated the Bobcats.

The Bobcats’ season may still be alive, but there are concerns from Saturday’s matchup against the Golden Flashes that need fixed ahead of Ohio’s matchup with the top team in the MAC.

Ohio's Gabby Burris attempts a three in the second quarter of the Bobcats' game against Kent State on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
Ohio’s Gabby Burris attempts a three in the second quarter of the Bobcats’ game against Kent State on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

The Bobcats shot 27 percent from the field and found no consistency all afternoon. Kent State shot about 27 percent as well which kept OU in the game.  However, the Golden Flashes hit some big shots late to pull away for good.

“It was a bummer with the shooting,” Boldon said. “We just couldn’t quite find anything to fall but it wasn’t from a lack of effort.”

Cece Hooks had perhaps her worst game of the season.  Hooks had a season-low six points and missed all 11 of her free-throw attempts.

Freshman Yaya Felder led the charge for the Bobcats with 20 points — tying a career high.

“She was good,” Boldon said.  “I think from a statistical standpoint, having her finish the season as strong as she did was good … I do think the future is bright.”

Erica Johnson also reached double figures with a dozen points.

It may not have been the record the Bobcats wanted — but the hectic regular season is over.

“We took (the players) to the wringer, man,” Boldon said. “We took them game after game after game, a little rest, few players. Never one time did that come up in the team.”

Anything can happen in March and the Bobcats have an opportunity for a MAC Tournament title still.  It won’t be easy though as the Bobcats face off against top-seeded Toledo on Wednesday in the MAC Quarterfinals. Ohio and Toledo split the two regular season matchups.

Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.