Updated Fri, Jan 13, 2012 4:15 am
Ohio fell at the hands of Bowling Green 61-49 at the new Stroh Center in Northwest Ohio Thursday night.
Leading the way for the Bobcats was senior guard Tenishia Benson with 13 points as the only Ohio player in double figures.
The difference in the game was Bowling Green’s size, as the Falcons outrebounded Ohio 38-28 and amassed 38 points in the paint to Ohio’s 14.
The Bobcats were playing without junior forward Porsha Harris for the second straight game as she recovers from a knee injury suffered against Buffalo on January 4.
The two teams were very evenly matched in the first half. Bowling Green took a 28-25 lead into the locker room largely because of advantages in the turnover margin and points in the paint.
The Falcons jumped out to an early second half run, extending their lead to nine points before Ohio used a timeout at just the 18:08 mark.
Ohio would reduce Bowling Green’s lead to four with 7:38 remaining before a 13-2 run over the next five minutes by the Falcons put the game away.
The Bobcats experienced late game shooting woes, converting on only seven of 24 shots in the second half.
“I’m really proud of my team and the way they competed. [They] came out and just played with no fear. Unfortunately we let it slip away from us,” Ohio head coach Semeka Randall said after the tough loss.
Ohio knew it would have its hands full with Bowling Green, now 13-3 and 3-0 in conference play. However, the loss may be tougher for the ‘Cats to swallow, knowing they stayed right with the Falcons for so long.
But perhaps the biggest disappointment was seeing another player go down with an injury. Junior guard Ashley Fowler exited the game early in the second half with an apparent shoulder injury after being stepped on by a Bowling Green player. She would return, but her second half minutes were limited.
Ohio has had its recent struggles with injuries this season—freshman point guard Kat Yelle is out for the year and Harris is still day-to-day—and if Fowler misses any time, Ohio could find itself in trouble going forward in the MAC.
“It has a huge impact on the team…But like I told our kids, we gotta be resilient. It’s all part of the sport, you can’t blame anybody, things happen,” Randall said about the injuries to some of Ohio’s key players.
The Bobcats (8-9, 1-2 MAC) have a tough conference game on Sunday as they return home to take on rival Miami (OH) (13-3, 3-0 MAC) at the Convocation Center.