The Ohio Bobcats (4-4) women’s basketball team returned to action at the Convocation Center for a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Notre Dame College Falcons (5-2). After dropping three straight—two on their trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico—the ‘Cats were searching for an offensive spark early on to end their unfortunate streak.
The Bobcats got that spark late in the first half, grasping complete control of the contest with a late 12-0 run to grab a double-digit lead heading into the locker room. Ohio finished off the game strong to break the three-game skid, besting the Falcons by a score of 72-55 to reach .500.
Sophomore guard Kiyanna Black continued her scoring spree at the Convo, tallying 20 points off the bench for Ohio. Sophomore forward Lexie Bladwin led all starters with 10 points, while also shooting 50 percent from the field and grabbing four rebounds.
Although Ohio was stagnant through the first five minutes, being outscored 2-0 early on, the Bobcats soon caught fire toward the end of the first half. Shooting less than 25 percent from the field and trailing Notre Dame 17-15 with just over six minutes remaining in the contest, Ohio made their move.
With stellar defensive pressure backed by a 20-11 run to end the frame, the Bobcats started to take hold of the contest. The aggressive Ohio defense forced 17 turnovers in the first half and carried that momentum into the final 20 minutes of play on the offensive end. Leading 35-28, the Green & White needed to come out with an assertive second-half strategy to close out their Division II opponents for good.
The 17-9 scoring advantage that Ohio opened up over the Falcons to begin the second frame helped to extend the Bobcat lead to 15 with just over 11 minutes remaining. From there, the lady ‘Cats were able to continue the early success they had by applying added pressure on the Falcons.
Even though Ohio came out with a physical attack on defense, it cost them later in the game. Top bench contributors Quiera Lampkins and Destini Cooper both fouled out in the second half, but the game had been well decided already thanks to the offensive surge that started in the final minutes of the first half.
However, there are still some problems that the Ohio women will need to address before hitting the road in a few days. The team forced Notre Dame into shooting under 35 percent from the field and caused the Falcons to turn over the ball 34 times, but Ohio shot just over 35 percent from the field. Notre Dame shot under 50 percent from the free throw line, which aided Ohio’s poor shooting efforts on Saturday.
Ohio improved to 2-0 at the Convo, but will not return for home action until Jan. 9 when the team matches up against the Miami RedHawks for their second conference match of the season. In the meantime, the Green & White will embark on a three-game excursion, beginning with a matchup with the East Carolina Pirates (8-0) on Dec. 20. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Greenville, NC.