Women's Basketball: Ohio's shooting numbers will eventually go up despite slow start

 

Ohio redshirt senior guard Taylor Agler (#0) looks to drive to the basket against Notre Dame College in the second half of the Bobcats’ 93-37 win on Nov. 16. (FILE)

 

Ohio doesn’t have a big sample size right now in terms of games played.

The Bobcats have only played six games this season, and they don’t start Mid-American Conference play until Dec. 31; Ohio will play against Toledo, the reigning MAC champions.

Five games are left in non-conference play, so the Bobcats still have some time to figure out whether they’re a capable shooting team.

But by the time conference play arrives, the sample size will be big enough; the Bobcats will have played 11 games. By then, the Bobcats should know whether they’ll be one of the better shooting teams in the MAC. They’re shooting 36 percent from the field and 23.9 percent from the 3-point line right now.

Ohio lost 76-52 to IUPUI on Saturday in The Convo, dropping its second game of the season. The Bobcats shot 36.5 percent from the field and 17.9 percent from 3-point range.

“We got a couple kids who haven’t made a shot in a long time that I think are good shooters,” coach Bob Boldon said after that game. “And they were good shooters for us in the past.”

Redshirt sophomore Hannah Thome sports the best 3-point shooting percentage on the team (50.0). Thome has shot four threes all season, though, and all four came against Michigan.

Aside from Thome, Dominique Doseck and Taylor Agler are the only other two players shooting above 30 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Still, it’s important to recognize that this trend is perhaps a slump. Sometimes shots just don’t fall, even for the best shooters. Katie Barker, the best shooter on the team last season, has shot 20.5 percent from three to begin this season; she shot 35.5 percent from the 3-point line last season.

Boldon believes that the Bobcats’ shooting numbers will eventually go up, and he should. Doseck, Agler and Barker are the best shooters in the starting lineup. Junior forward Kendall Jessing can hit open shots, too.

And though sophomore Amani Burke has shot 9.5 percent from three this season, she shot 33.9 percent from the 3-point line last season.

The starting lineup is comprised of capable shooters, so Ohio should be able to rise out of this slump. It’s too early to peg the Bobcats as a mediocre shooting team. They struggled to shoot well from three during non-conference play last season, too.

During 11 non-conference games last season, the Bobcats shot 26.5 percent from three. They eventually finished the season shooting 30 percent from behind the three-point line. That ranked them No. 9 in the MAC.

So, the numbers can and probably will go up. That’s usually how it works. At some point, shots start to fall.

The Bobcats just need to keep shooting.

“They’re working on it in the gym; they’re trying,” Boldon said. “Sometimes, it just takes seeing a couple go in to get you started. I’m optimistic about that.”

 

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