[Donovan Varney | WOUB]

Ohio led by as much as 17 in its 75-60 loss to Ball State

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio (7-16, 4-8 MAC) put together its best half of the season in the first half, but Ball State’s (22-3, 11-1 MAC) weapons were too much in the second half handing it a 75-60 loss.

The Bobcats set the tone early with their play on the defensive end. They held the Cardinals to just 28% from the field in the first half.

Senior guard Peyton Guice said the team was doing a great job of communicating.

“Everyone on their team can shoot the basketball,” she said. “I think it was our communication and our trust in each other.”

On the other end, junior guard Kennedi Watkins led the way for Ohio. She tallied 14 points in the first half

Ohio guard Kennedi Watkins (5) drives to the basket against the Ball State Cardinals.
Ohio guard Kennedi Watkins (5) drives to the basket against the Ball State Cardinals. [Conor Mallonn | WOUB]
on seven-for-eight shooting from the field. Watkins finished with a game-high 21 points.

The Bobcats opened up a 17-point lead with just under three minutes left in the second quarter, but the Cardinals closed the gap to nine at the end of the first half. 

Head coach Bob Boldon said it was the best half of basketball he has seen from his team this season. 

“I loved our kids’ energy and their approach,” he said. “I think they showed a lot of togetherness.”

Out of the break, the Cardinals hit their stride.

Ball State dominated the rest of the game with its physicality. It tallied 17 offensive rebounds and shot 38 free throws, making 30 of them.

Boldon said the amount of Ball State free throws came from his team not being in the right spot.

“They did a good job attacking when we were out of position,” he said. “Usually when you foul that much it’s because you are in the wrong spot defensively.”

The Cardinals outscored the Bobcats 44 to 20 in the second half enroute to a 75-60 win.

It’s Ohio’s fifth straight loss with just six games remaining in the regular season. Ohio’s next chance to get back in the win column comes on Feb. 21 against the Kent State Golden Flashes.