Women's Basketball: Ohio is struggling to shoot 3s well, even with good shooters on its team

 

Ohio’s Quiera Lampkins tries to shoot during a game against UT Martin at The Convo on Nov. 18. (FILE)

Photo taken by Matt Starkey

 

Ohio’s offense is simple: find easy baskets in the low post or find an open teammate for a 3-pointer.

Thanks to the team’s talent, low 3-point shooting percentages haven’t been a problem, although they could be a future worry.

As it stands now, Ohio (11-3, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) is one of the worst 3-point-shooting teams in the MAC.

The Bobcats are ranked No. 10 in the conference for 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 28.1 percent. Before its breakout game against Buffalo, Ohio was the worst 3-point-shooting team in the MAC; it shot a season-high 53.8 percent from three against Buffalo last Wednesday, defeating the Bulls 83-55.

“We’re a better team, and everybody’s a better team when they make shots,” coach Bob Boldon said after the Buffalo game.

The team’s performance against Buffalo helped, and perhaps it will start a positive trend.

But one aspect of this team is certain: it can’t shoot. Even with capable shooters, it struggles to consistently hit jump shots.

Katie Barker, the Bobcats’ best shooter, led Ohio in scoring and 3-point field goals against Buffalo. She scored 18 points and made a team-high of six 3-pointers.

Despite being the team’s best shooter – she is averaging 41.9 percent from the 3 – Barker has battled injury this season, only recently returning to play.

Last season, Ohio relied on a player like Barker to make 3s. Kiyanna Black, who was a senior last year, was the team’s best player, not only being able to shoot well, but also score from multiple places on the floor.

Black led the team in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 36.3 percent. The Bobcats were better for it, too; Ohio shot 30.7 percent from 3 last season.

That’s not significantly better than what the Bobcats’ numbers are now – but it’s still better. Barker isn’t Black reincarnate, she can’t score as well as Black could.

But then again, Black is the second-highest scorer in program history and has been the best Ohio basketball player in at least a generation.

In the present, though, Karlis is the team’s best shooter after Barker, averaging 37.5 percent from 3-point line. But like Barker, she has battled injury, returning to play in the Bobcats’ last four games. For now, Ohio is at the top of the MAC East. But if it continues its inconsistency from outside, other teams might begin to catch up.

 

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