Ohio sophomore guard Amani Burke (#3) drives to the basket during the first half of the Bobcats’ 93-37 win over Notre Dame College on Nov. 16
Before the fourth quarter started, Ohio had finished each quarter only down three points.
As the fourth quarter began, though, Michigan scored 10 straight points — and Ohio didn’t score its first points of the quarter until 6:11 was left in the game.
The Bobcats played quality defense Saturday against the Wolverines, but they didn’t play as well on offense. Ohio fell 74-61 in The Convo against No. 25 Michigan, dropping its first game of the season.
Ohio was down 49-46 heading into the fourth quarter, and its defense put it into position to upset a ranked opponent in Michigan. The last time a ranked Power 5 opponent came to The Convo was in 2009, when Ohio lost to Florida 74-56.
But as the Wolverines pulled away to begin the fourth quarter, the Bobcats struggled to make shots. It’s been a challenge they have had to begin this season.
“Obviously our offense needs to get going to put it kindly,” coach Bob Boldon said.
The Bobcats shot 32.3 percent from the field and 29.0 percent from three. The shooting woes have persisted to begin this season, but at some point, the shooting numbers will need to improve.
Still, Boldon knows it’s only the end of November. The Bobcats have time to grow.
“We knew going into this game that we weren’t a finished product,” Boldon said.
Though the offensive output was spotty, it did have some bright spots. Junior guard Dominique Doseck and freshman Cierra Hooks led the team with 17 points each. Doseck set a new career high for points, surpassing the previous 15 she had against Kent State in 2016. Hooks tied her career high for points, which she set earlier this season against Notre Dame College.
Doseck has thrived so far in her new starting role. She’s provided 3-point shooting — she shot 4-of-7 from three against Michigan — and has given the Bobcats a spark on offense when they need one.
Doseck is a junior, but on this young team with five freshmen, she’s viewed as a veteran.
“There is a little bit of a veteran feel because they’ve (Doseck and Amani Burke) been around the program,” Boldon said. “And they’ve had on-floor success relative to the other members of the squad, but they’re still very, very young as far as actual minutes played is concerned.”
As the Bobcats progress through non-conference play, Boldon knows his team has work to do. He’s also optimistic about that growth, though.
Continuing to improve — that’s what Boldon has preached in his five-year tenure at Ohio. Ohio needs to improve offensively, and its defense is perhaps one of the best in the Mid-American Conference.
But one thing is for certain: The Bobcats are going to get better. Ohio (3-1) will play Eastern Kentucky (2-3) on the road Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“We don’t necessarily have to be good enough today,” Boldon said. “We have to continue to make steps forward, and be willing to learn in practice tomorrow.”