Women's Basketball: Ohio plays well enough on offense to defeat Bowling Green and earn first MAC win

 

Ohio head coach Bob Boldon goes over strategies during a timeout during Ohio’s 72-44 win against rivals Miami (OH) on Feb. 17. Boldon and the Bobcats play against High Point on Saturday in their first game of the 2016-17 season. (FILE)

 

Ohio has two types of offenses: one that plays halfway decent, and one that lacks so much ball movement it would make San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cry.

The halfway decent one showed up Saturday, as Ohio (10-2, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) defeated Bowling Green 69-58 on the road to secure its first MAC win of the season.

A ball movement enthusiast, Popovich would likely grumble about the Spurs’ lack of potent offense. Ohio coach Bob Boldon, however, is optimistic about the Bobcats’ growth.

“I think we’re better than we were in November,” Boldon said after the game. “We’re certainly not good enough yet, and it’s okay because it’s just the beginning of January.”

Ohio’s offense has been about as inconsistent as an old TV: sometimes it works, but other times it’s static.

The Bobcats started the game shooting 71.4 percent from the field, but it eventually regressed to the mean, shooting 48.4 percent at the end of the first half. And by the end of the game, they finished shooting 37.9 percent from the field, close to their average of 37.5 percent.

With Ohio’s halfway decent offense on display at Bowling Green (4-9, 0-1 MAC), Quiera Lampkins still needed to continue to lead. Lampkins scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds, and totaled five steals.

But even with her strong offensive output, her load wasn’t like that of a camel’s.

The rest of the roster proved it could be serviceable, with nine players logging at least one field goal.

In her second game back from injury, Kelly Karlis scored eight points, hitting two important threes in the fourth quarter to help seal Ohio’s win.

“It’s nice to have her back,” Boldon said. “She obviously has a dimension with her ability to guard and rebound, and then at the other end of the floor being able to shoot the ball the way she does.”

Though Lampkins has willed the team to wins in some games this season — she scored a season-high 28 points in Ohio’s 79-70 win against Murray State — Boldon still appreciates her abilities, especially considering she is a senior.

“We’re really going to miss her when she’s gone,” Boldon said of Lampkins. “Trying to enjoy her as long as we can while she’s here.”

Ohio might as well as hold onto the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year for as long as possible. For Ohio is a mediocre team without Lampkins, and as Ohio continues MAC play, it will need her scoring ability.

This was a win the Bobcats needed. With Buffalo (10-1) atop the conference, Ohio needed to show it’s a premier team in the MAC — even if it’s offense is the most inconsistent.

Ohio will play Buffalo in Athens on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. Buffalo is like the boss-level villain on a videogame that Ohio can’t seem to beat. The Bobcats loss to the Bulls three times last season, including a 72-60 loss in the MAC Tournament.

“Both teams have a lot of returning players, but still different,” Boldon said. “People are in different roles doing different things, so we’re looking forward to it.”

 

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