With 1:01 remaining, Alexis Stover grabbed a rebound off a missed 3-pointer and scored a put-back layup. The bucket pulled the Bobcats within four.
But the four-point deficit was as close as Ohio came to completing an improbable comeback; it was down 25 with one minute to play in the third quarter.
Ohio nearly completed an incredible comeback, but fell short in a 71-64 loss to Cleveland State on Wednesday in the Wolstein Center.
The 25-point deficit, however, didn’t just happen. The Bobcats started slow and sluggish for the second straight game, down 8-0 early in the first quarter; They trailed 10-0 in the first quarter Saturday against IUPUI.
“The slow start is a kind way to put it,” coach Bob Boldon said.
Even with the early eight-point deficit, Ohio was able to push through and trail by just 11 at the half, which gave it hope for a second half comeback.
But as the third quarter transpired, the game spiraled out of control for the Bobcats. The lowest point was when they trailed by 25.
The comeback needed to happen, so Boldon called for Ohio to begin a full court press; it had to amp up its defense. The call was answered.
The Vikings didn’t score a field goal in the final 4:19 of the game. The Bobcats had five, including three 3-pointers.
“I think we have (the comeback effort) in us somewhere,” Boldon said.
The comeback effort was there, but was partially stalled by redshirt senior point guard Taylor Agler and freshman guard Cierra Hooks fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Hooks had 16 points and nine rebounds. Five of those points came in the fourth quarter, helping the Bobcats claw their way back into the game.
Although Ohio was able to make a comeback attempt, Boldon doesn’t think Ohio is where it wants to be, or where it should be.
“That’s the exciting part about coming to practice every day is that we don’t, record wise, we don’t look like a real good team,” Boldon said. “But a couple tough losses in a row makes you think we aren’t very good. And that’s accurate, we aren’t very good. But (the good is) in there somewhere.”
He also recognizes he has a young team.
“If we can just continue to grow a bit, we can take another step forward.”