Updated Sat, Dec 10, 2011 2:25 pm
Friday, the Ohio women’s basketball team reached the millennium mark. With the Penguins from Youngstown State in town, the Bobcats played the 1,000th game in program history. Despite the historic event, the Bobcats came up short and lost 55-47, falling to 3-5 on the season.
The first half remained close to the finish, with Youngstown State on top 24-22 after twenty minutes of play. YSU made six three pointers, while Ohio went 0-7 from beyond the arc in the first half. An uncharacteristic stat for Ohio, as the team is ranked second in the MAC in both three-point field goal percentage (.351) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.252). Porsha Harris scored nine points in the first half and finished with 11 for the game. Tenishia Benson led Ohio with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Penguins came out in the second with a lot of energy, especially down low. Their largest lead of the night was 15, with 12:12 left to go in the game. The 'Cats managed to put together a solid 15-4 run, bringing them within four points, 48-44 with 3:30 left in the half. But the Bobcats couldn’t finish it out and Youngstown state held on to get the win.
The loss is Ohio’s fourth in a row, and coach Semeka Randall attributes the struggles to a lack of maturity as a team.
“We have the ability,” said Randall. “We knock these shots down in practice. We just aren’t able to make that change when we step on the floor.”
Ohio shot a mere 31.1 percent from the floor and only made 16.7 of its shots from three point range. Randall sees the individual talent on the floor, but the team has yet to come together as one.
“We have all the talent in the world, “Randall said.” We just aren’t doing it.”
But doing it won’t be simple. The 'Cats have a tough week ahead, with games on Sunday and Tuesday with and then a long road trip out to Las Vegas to face some of the top competition in the nation in Oklahoma, Xavier, and Syracuse. The players know what lies ahead in Sin City, and the team will look to earn wins Sunday or Tuesday, or both, to get them back on track.
“It’s very important,” said junior Ashley Fowler, about earning wins before the trip. “We play some good teams in Vegas. Going into that with a two game winning streak would really boost our confidence.”
It will be important for Ohio to get back to playing its style of play against San Francisco and Niagara.
“We love transition [play],” said redshirt senior Tenishia Benson. “That’s a big part of our identity.”
Benson has faith in the team’s ability to earn victories.
“We are going to put it together,” Benson said. “We have to figure out what is going to cause us to win and help us to win.”
Randall also has faith in the young squad and knows it will take time for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit together just right.
“We have to have patience,” Randall said. “It’s a long season. It’s tough for a team that hasn’t had much experience.”
Slideshow: Women's Basketball: Ohio vs. Youngstown State
Photos by: Ryan Young
Ohio's Kat Yelle (center) fights for a loose ball in the Bobcats' eight-point loss to Youngstown State.
Tenishia Benson (22) shoots over Youngstown State's Brandi Brown in YSU's eight-point win over Ohio.
Tenishia Benson (right) stretches for a rebound in Ohio's loss to Youngstown State.
Porsha Harris drives against YSU's Heidi Schlagel. Youngstown State beat the Bobcats 55-47.
Tenishia Benson (22) leaps for a rebound against Youngstown State.
Ohio's Erin Bailes (3) jumps for a rebound in the Bobcats' loss to Youngstown State.