Ohio’s Gabby Burris makes her way down the court during the Bobcats’ game against Northern Illinois on Wednesday. The Bobcats defeated the Huskies 77-75. (FILE)
OXFORD – Throughout the season, coach Bob Boldon has been realistic, yet optimistic about Ohio. Boldon has neither thought too low or too high of the Bobcats.
He knows his team, but at the same time, he’s been hopeful about its growth.
The Bobcats lost to Miami 64-55 on the road in Millett Hall on Saturday, and didn’t execute on either end of the floor well. After winning a close game against Northern Illinois at home Wednesday, this loss against the Redhawks reminds the Bobcats of how much more they need to grow.
“We just gotta get better at a lot of things,” Boldon said. “And I don’t think that’s new information to us. But sometimes when you get smacked like this on the road, you realize ‘Oh boy, we do really have to get better.”
At the end of the third quarter, the Bobcats were down 56-42. The Redhawks ended the quarter on a 9-0 run, and while the Bobcats weren’t out of the game, they also weren’t close.
They needed a mini-run, and they got it.
With under eight minutes left, freshman forward Alexis Stover hit a 3-pointer. On the ensuing Miami possession, Taylor Agler blocked guard Lauren Dickerson. That ignited the break, and then Dominique Doseck hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 58-52.
A little over a minute later, freshman guard Cierra Hooks made a layup and cut the lead to 58-54. The Bobcats had went on an 8-0 run in a little under two minutes.
And then they only scored one point in the last five minutes of the game.
“We didn’t do a real good job of executing offensively,” Boldon said. “And so therefore I think our shots were a little bit more difficult. And we just missed some shots.”
The Bobcats have the top turnover margin in the Mid-American Conference and the second-best in the country. They forced 27 turnovers, but that wasn’t a significant factor.
The Redhawks entered the game with the fourth-best field goal percentage in the MAC. The Bobcats entered with the No. 11 field goal percentage in the conference.
And while the Bobcats missed more shots than the Redhawks, they didn’t play their best defensively. The Bobcats simply didn’t play aggressive enough on defense, which is unusual for them.
“We forced some turnovers, but we also gave up a 20-point quarter,” Boldon said. “And you’re not going to win road games doing that. You gotta be better, and we just weren’t. We weren’t good.”
The game was a chance for Ohio to win three in a row, something it hasn’t done since the start of the season; the Bobcats defeated High Point, Notre Dame College and Marshall to begin the season.
Now, Ohio has had a second two-game win streak snapped.
With their January games finished, the Bobcats will need to continue working on fixing their weaknesses. The Bobcats have a bye week, and their next game will be Feb. 3 at home against Ball State.
“We just got a lot of things that we’re trying to get better at,” Boldon said. “A little bit frustrating that we haven’t fixed some of these things by now, but that’s my job. And I’ll try to fix those next week.”