Quiera Lampkins (5) goes up for a layup against UT Martin at The Convo on Nov. 18.
The Bobcats continued their primitive methods of defending their defensive reputation in the jungle on Saturday.
With its stifling, fly-around defense, Ohio (7-0) defeated IUPUI (7-2) 71-65 to continue its undefeated start to the season.
The Jaguars thrived on getting to the free throw line, as 38.4 percent of their points came from the line. They didn’t prefer to shoot from outside, only attempting 11 3-pointers.
In an era of basketball that loves to shoot the 3-pointer, the Jaguars opted for an old-school approach, taking the ball inside in hopes of drawing a foul. IUPUI forced Ohio to commit 25 personal fouls, and it forced Ohio’s two bigs – Jasmine Weatherspoon and Hannah Boesinger – to foul out of the game in the fourth quarter.
But even with an old-school style that at times paid dividends on offense, IUPUI’s old school offense couldn’t handle Ohio’s man defense. Ohio forced IUPUI to take harder shots in the second half, not letting them work the ball inside for easy shots.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids hung in there,” coach Bob Boldon said after the game. “It didn’t go our way for a large part of tonight, but we just kind of kept plugging away and kind of doing the things that we’re supposed to do.”
Ohio’s stout defense has played consistently. Heading into the game, the Bobcats boasted the best defense in the Mid-American Conference, allowing 52 points per game.
The production Ohio would have on defense wasn’t in question – it was its offensive production.
Ohio shot 40 percent from the field – a decent stat for the Bobcats who averaged 39.7 percent from the field before Saturday’s game. But Ohio shot 20.7 percent from three, only making six 3-pointers.
“I don’t think we took any steps forward with our offensive execution,” Boldon said.
The sole reason Ohio didn’t have a completely terrible showing on offense was because of Quiera Lampkins. Lampkins scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She has saved Ohio from an offensive disaster before this season, scoring a season-high 28 points against Murray State.
Along with Lampkins’ play, multiple Ohio players stepped up because of the team’s foul trouble. Taylor Agler scored 16 points, hitting a key three to put Ohio up 68-63 with 1:03 left in the game.
With 18 seconds left to go, Ohio was up 68-65. Freshman Amani Burke, who replaced Jasmine Weatherspoon in the fourth quarter, scored a basket to put Ohio up by five points.
“I thought as far as kids stepping up and making plays, I thought we did that,” Boldon said.
Ohio will need to continue to play consistently on defense if it wants to remain undefeated. Ohio will play Michigan next Tuesday, and the Wolverines are another team that plays well on offense. Michigan is averaging 84.1 points per game.
“I think we’re all really happy that we won this game, but I think we also realize that we got some work to do,” Boldon said. “And that’s not a bad thing.”