Updated Mon, Jan 14, 2013 12:14 am
What on paper looked to be Ohio’s first conference win turned out to be more déjà vu for the Bobcats, as they were taken down viciously by another MAC foe in Buffalo. Ohio failed to lead at any point during the contest against the Bulls and lost by a score of 73-36.
The Bobcats held a close match in the first part of the first half against Akron just days earlier, but a lead was swept up from underneath, leading to a final score of 81-54. In the contest against the Bulls, Ohio never led and its lowest scoring margin it had with Buffalo was after Buffalo’s Mackenzie Loesing drained the first points of the game.
“It may not be about wins or losses at this point because of the things we have to endure right now in this adversity moment,” explained head coach Semeka Randall. “But it’s the fact that we have to ride with those four-letters that are across our chest, ‘OHIO,’ and go out and compete.”
Ohio scored its lowest point total in a first half with 15, as only three Bobcats scored in the first 20 minutes. Kiyanna Black had 12 points, her eighth double-digit game in the past ten games, Tina Fisher added ten, and Lexie Baldwin put up eight points. Symone Lyles led the team with nine boards.
The Green and White were outscored by 27 points in the first half and failed to lead in any recorded statistical category for the half; overall, the Bobcats had a lower turnover ratio and less personal fouls, but were outscored by 11 in the second half. Ohio shot a dismal 22.6 percent from the field, 12 percent lower than its game average. Black led the team with five shots made, but took 23 shots.
Erin Bailes, the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer (9.8 ppg) and senior leader Shavon Robinson, the third-leading scorer (9.5 ppg), did not participate in the contest.
Three-point percentage took a hit from these injuries, as Ohio only converted on two of 11 attempts.
In the opening minutes of the first half, Mariah Byard was injured and only played a total of ten minutes. She did not participate in the second half. Head coach Semeka Randall expressed that Byard will be day-to-day and will receive x-rays in the days ahead.
Randall expressed the healthiness of the players as an inhibiting factor on Ohio’s ability to pull out a win.
“We’re not where we need to be right now,” said Randall. “Obviously, we know why it is. Part of it is that bodies are out and a lot of players are looking to their teammates in dress clothes or not here this afternoon…we have to embrace what we have right now.”
The Bulls had four players in double-digits, led by Rachael Gregory who came off the bench and had a team-high 16 points. Yet, it seemed to come down to Buffalo’s height presence in the paint, where they collected 60 rebounds, compared to Ohio’s 33.
With the start of classes, the Bobcats will have a much-needed day off on Monday. The Bobcats have won only once in their last five contests after a three-game win streak in the beginning of December. On Thursday, they will face MAC-favorite Miami in Oxford, where they will hope to tally their first conference win of the season.