Tabeling’s career day not enough in Ohio’s 82-62 defeat to Syracuse

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A magical day for Bailey Tabeling was not enough in a second half dominated by the visitors. 

Ohio (2-5) welcomed the Syracuse (8-1) to the Convo on Saturday afternoon with some important wrongs to right, but fell short 82-62. 

Back-and-Forth Battle Sparks Ohio 

Ohio head coach Bob Boldon and his squad hoped to regain their footing after 85-45 loss to Ohio State on Tuesday. And they did just that – with some unexpected faces leading the charge. 

Two freshmen from the state of Indiana set the tone for the home team – starting with Monica Williams. The Indianapolis native had five quick points to get things rolling. From there, the Bobcats and Orange went neck-and-neck on offense as Georgia Woolley and Alyssa Latham countered every attack.  

Ohio also scored five points off two forced turnovers in the opening frame. The team’s quick start paved the way for another Indiana-based freshman to shine. 

Turning the Tables 

Seymour, IN native Bailey Tabeling took over for Ohio in the second quarter – with three triples to her name. Tabeling tallied 11 points in the quarter and led the Bobcats at the half in scoring. 

The first-year guard’s relentless work ethic gave her the confidence she needed.  

“Just getting in the work after practice, staying late, getting up extra shots,” Tabeling said. 

Tabeling’s tantalizing threes gave the Convo crowd a renewed energy, as the underdog Bobcats found themselves down by just one at the intermission, 41-40. 

Syracuse Soars in Second Half – Fair and Square 

The visiting Orange came into Athens forcing 17 turnovers per game. Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack’s second half game plan was simple: control the game defensively and work the ball into the paint.  

Syracuse opened the second half with a 9-0 run to open the first double-digit lead for either team. It forced Ohio to commit 10 turnovers and scored 12 points in the paint.  

Forwards Saniaa Wilson and Alyssa Latham took advantage of Ohio’s smaller lineup – combining for eight points. Syracuse smothered the glass in the third quarter as well with 10 rebounds in the third quarter to just four for Ohio. 

“I felt like as a team sometimes coming out after the half its always hard to stay disciplined,” Jaya McClure said. 

However, no one player left quite the mark that graduate guard Dyaisha Fair left on Saturday afternoon.  

Fair willed her team to a dominant second half performance as she pushed the pace and gave her team some breathing room. She scored 11 points in the ladder half and pushed Syracuse’s led to as much as 22.  

Fair finished with 21 points and five three-pointers, and Syracuse left the Convo with a victory in its back pockets. 

Boldon Credits Team Morale 

There has been no shortage of quality in Ohio’s recent opponents, with Ohio State top-15 national ranking and Syracuse coming in with just one defeat, a two-point thriller to Maryland.   

Despite the losses Boldon praised his team and staff for keeping their heads held high. 

“We just got molly-wopped [to Ohio State] and they showed up and played like champions for a good portion of the game (on Saturday),” Boldon said. “[They] came out with a great deal of intensity … We missed some shots (in the third quarter).” 

Saturday’s loss drops the Bobcats to a 2-5 overall record. 

The Bobcats have a week to prepare for their next opponent – Indiana State. The Sycamores have a 3-4 overall record and are 2-1 on the road thus far.  

Ohio’s clash with Indiana State is scheduled for Dec. 17.