Ohio drops a 3-point shootout 78-58 against the Ball State Cardinals

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – The Ohio Bobcats (3-16, 1-7 MAC) struggle to keep up with the Ball State Cardinals (17-4, 7-1 MAC) speed in their 78-58 loss. 

It was a matinee matchup between the Cardinals and Bobcats but neither team showed signs of a sluggish start and got off to hot shooting from behind the arc to begin the game. At the first media timeout with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, the two teams had already combined for seven three point field goals. Sophomore guard Yaya Felder contributed a pair of those threes ending the first quarter with eight points. 

“I thought we came out strong,” head coach Bob Bolden said. “We came out with a lot of confidence. I thought we executed and got some good shots and made shots.”

Sophomore guard Yaya Felder (2) drives against two Ball State defenders
Sophomore guard Yaya Felder (2) drives against two Ball State defenders [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
However, out of the timeout, the Cardinals settled in on both sides of the ball. They used transition to find open players and score in bunches. Ball State went on a 13-2 run to end the quarter up 25-16.

The second quarter saw more of the same from the two sides. The Cardinals continued their pace and the threes kept falling. 

“We knew they were good and they played as good as advertised,” Bolden said. “I thought their tempo was good and I thought their patience was good. We had some possessions where we guarded them for 20 seconds but that’s the difference with good teams that’s typically not enough.” 

But the Bobcats would continue to hang around. Freshman guard Jaya McClure added five big points in the quarter to keep Ohio within striking distance. Felder added seven of her own to finish the first half with 15 points as the Bobcats trailed by 10, 44-34. 

Ball State set the tone out of the break in a big way with an and one from sophomore forward Marie Kiefer. Followed by an offensive rebound and three by sophomore guard Ally Becki. It was a lightning quick 5-0 from the Cardinals that forced Ohio to take a timeout just 48 seconds into the second half. Sophomore guard Kate Dennis tried to keep the Bobcats in it with a pair of threes in the quarter. Dennis was efficient on the day going four-for-seven from behind the arc and finishing the contest with 12 points. 

“Shooting four for six, shooting 40 percent as a team, we were feeling it today,” Dennis said. “We knew that we had to shoot it well against a really good Ball State team.”

But the effort came up short as the Cardinals grew the lead to 20 at the final buzzer. It was an uphill battle for the Bobcats all day with Ball State shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. However, Bolden says the Bobcats work ethic hasn’t wavered over the tough stretch. 

“We did an amazing job of sticking together as a team,” Bolden said. “They’ve been through a lot of tough times, obviously we are not winning a lot and that’s hard. But that has never stopped them from coming in and working.” 

Ohio looks to maintain the offensive momentum when they take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles (11-8, 3-5 MAC) on Feb. 1.