Ohio sophomore guard Quiera Lampkins tries to put up a shot around Akron junior guard DiAndra Gibson during their MAC game at the Convocation Center on January 28, 2015. Ohio is looking to bounce back from a loss to Northern Illinois over the weekend.
Photo taken by Carl Fonticella
Ohio (11-3, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) had a setback against Northern Illinois, playing poor defense against the conference’s best scoring team.
A setback in the MAC, however, only allows for a chance to bounce back quickly.
Ohio will play on the road against Akron (7-7, 0-3 MAC) on Wednesday at 7 p.m., as it will look to maintain its one game lead in the MAC East
Ohio lost 88-80 to Northern on Saturday because it couldn’t keep up with the Huskies’ fast-paced style. The Huskies average 90.6 points per game, and the Bobcats, who usually hold teams to low point totals, allowed them to score 88 points.
Ohio hadn’t allowed as many points for the entire season before Saturday’s game.
“The frustrating part of it is you felt like we were making progress defensively and we took a huge step backwards today,” coach Bob Boldon said after the game. “It was just poor defense from top to bottom.”
Ohio’s defensive presence has been solid this season – it’s ranked fifth in scoring defense, allowing 59.5 points per game.
With Akron not being a highly touted offensive team, only scoring 65.6 points per game, Ohio should be able to play well on defense. And not only play well, but in a way in which it returns to its usual play on the defensive end.
“That’s the nice thing about conference play,” Boldon said. “You get to play quickly on Wednesday and try to do better.”
Ohio has cultivated its identity on defense this season, with its offense having bouts of greatness. The Bobcats played well at Buffalo, scoring a season-high 83 points in the win.
Ohio played well on offense against Northern Illinois too, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three.
Akron isn’t going to play at the rate that Northern Illinois did. Against MAC teams, it has scored less than it did in non-conference play. The Zips average 60 points per game against conference teams, losing to Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Bowling Green.
The Zips’ leading scorer, Hannah Plybon, averages 18.4 points per game. Alex Ricketts is the next leading scorer who averages 10.9 points per game.
The Zips aren’t the Huskies, a team that boasts five players who average double figures in scoring.
And the Zips aren’t the best defensive team, either. They’re ranked eighth in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing 66.1 points per game.
Ohio will have a chance to start locking teams up again Wednesday, and the fact that Akron isn’t primed to lock them up only helps.