The Ohio University women’s basketball team (2-5) ended its five-game skid Thursday night at The Convo against the Eastern Kentucky University Lady Colonels (5-4). After trailing for much of the first half, the Bobcats chipped away at the EKU lead and ended the half with a tie and took the lead in the second half, . The Bobcats would win 69-58 for the team’s second win of the season.
“Always feels good to get that monkey off your back in terms of getting a win,” said head coach Semeka Randall.” It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done.”Through the first half, the Bobcats took an early, but short-lived lead. For the remainder of the half, Ohio trailed Eastern Kentucky. The Lady Colonels held a 12-point lead at one point during the half. Ohio did the little things to keep themselves in the game, including making all six free-throws. In the final seconds of the half, Lexie Baldwin sunk a jumper, the teams headed into the half tied at 34.
“It was one of those things, the ball bounced our way,” said Randall of the comeback. “We came up with some key steals.”
Symone Lyles and Erin Bailes led Ohio with nine points apiece in the first half. Jade Barber led Eastern Kentucky in scoring in the first half with nine points. Eastern Kentucky had the advantage in field goal percentage in the first half at 48.1% compared to the Bobcats’ 39.4% mark.
“There was a stretch down there where both teams were probably shooting the ball not well from the field, but what was different, and unlike other games we’ve played, we were able to make those defensive stops, so we didn’t trade baskets or anything like that,” said Randall. “So good effort from our team.”
After just over a minute of play in the second half, the Bobcats reclaimed a lead they hadn’t held since early in the game. Kiyanna Black made a free throw early in the half to regain the lead. Black had a key role in the Bobcats’ resurgence in the second half before being fouled out on a double technical.
After making the tie-breaking free throw, Black sunk the ball into the basket for two points. She was the first player for either team to reach double-digits, hitting 13 points before leaving the game.
Joining Black in double digits for the Bobcats were Bailes (12), Shavon Robinson (14) and Lyles (12).
“It was great to see that different people stepped up because I mean situations like KB fouling out with eight, nine minutes left in the game, that’s when you know you need your bench, you need other players to come up and step up and do whatever they can to create something for our team,” said Robinson. “So it’s great to see that there was four people that scored in double figures and there’s a lot of people who had a lot of rebounds too that I thought was a good key for us in winning this game.”
Randall looked to shake things up heading into the game by making changes to the starting lineup. Black made her first career start and Bailes made her first start of the season.
“This is a good thing because what we were doing before was not working and we needed to make this change, so definitely it makes me, as a coach, feel good that I came up with this bright idea but at the end of the day we’ve got to see where we’re going with it so good job today, what can we do as we get ready for more ahead? Because that’s another big challenge that lies ahead for us,” said Randall.
Thursday, the lineup changes played in the Bobcats’ favor to help the team win their second game of the season.
“It feels great,” Robinson said of the win.
Finishing for her teammate, Bailes added, “We’ve just got to keep it going.”