[Darayus Sethna | WOUB]

McClure leads Ohio to 67-61 victory over Dayton in home opener

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio began its home slate of 2023 with a defensive win over in-state opponent Dayton 67-61. 

After a crushing loss last Saturday to Appalachian State that Ohio held a 17-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Ohio looked to bounce back. 

The Bobcats were also looking to get their home campaign off to a good start, as they only recorded two wins in 13 games played in the Convo last season.  

Ohio got off to a quick start with Madi Mace knocking down a three and Cassidy Lafler converting a three-point play.  

Mace knocked down two more triples and totaled 12 points on the night. Mace missed the entire 2022-23 season with an injury. 

“Probably the most valuable thing that Madi (Mace) does is she plays so hard that she raises the level of expectation of everybody around her,” head coach Bob Boldon said. 

Neither team was able to build momentum in the opening quarter as defense reigned supreme. 

As the second quarter began, both Ohio and Dayton began to get the offense going. The two teams traded buckets to begin the frame and shots fell left and right.  

Ohio sophomore Jaya McClure lit up in the second quarter by scoring eight of her 18 points in the quarter alone.

McClure missed the team’s first game of the season against Appalachian State but returned Thursday in a big way leading the Bobcats to the first win of the season. 

“[Jaya] just did a really nice job of coming back and running the team.” Boldon said. 

Along with 18 points, McClure also shot 66% and had four assists and three steals in 28 minutes. 

The Bobcats made a late run in the first half and held a 35-27 lead at the half. 

Dayton was unable to get the offense started in the second half and Ohio’s constant defense pressure kept the Flyers off their game. 

“I thought we did a great job defensively,” Boldon said. “Through three quarters, I was really impressed with the way that we guarded.”

The Bobcats held a 53-38 lead going into the fourth quarter. They were able to fend off a comeback effort that saw the Flyers pull within five.  

Ohio will have a few days off before they play Morehead State on Nov. 22.