Coach Bob Boldon did not speak with the tone of a coach who had won by 17 points Monday night.
As a matter of fact, he seemed worried.
Ohio came away with a 58-41 victory in The Convo, but Boldon was far from satisfied.
“We have such a gifted group of seniors,” Boldon said. “I think it’s my job to try to take them as far as they can go and right now, we’re so far away that it’s a little bit intimidating.”
Northern Kentucky flummoxed the Bobcat offense with a mix of zone defenses. Boldon’s preseason optimism about an improved zone offense centered around improved ball movement, but his team did not carry out his vision against the Norse.
“Our offense looked as bad as its looked in maybe two or three years,” Boldon said. “You can’t just say we were bad, you have to give credit to Northern Kentucky and what they were able to do. I assume with video tape and other teams ability to do scouting, we’re gonna see more of it. So, we need to figure that out and probably figure it out sooner rather than later.”
Ohio posted just six assists compared to 15 turnovers and shot 20 percent from the 3-point range. Queira Lampkins found a way to score 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting, but she did so as a solo act.
“(Lampkins) only scored cause she was good,” Boldon said. “We didn’t do one thing to help Ki Ki get an easy shot today. Her level of difficulty on her shots were as high as they’ve been in a long time.”
With the offensive struggles, the Bobcats leaned on their ability to get out in transition to score. The 31 Ohio points off 28 forced turnovers accounted for 53 percent of the team’s 58 points.
While the aggressive play that forces turnovers is a staple of the Ohio defense, it is not something the players want to rely on.
“This is the point in the season where we have to focus on getting better no matter what the score is,” Taylor Agler said. “I don’t know if (scoring off turnovers) is really a luxury at this point. We can’t just depend on getting steals.”
It’s early in the season, so none of the Ohio problems on offense figure to be permanent. The non-conference schedule will be ramping up soon, however, and Boldon knows his team will have to be better in the coming weeks.
The Bobcats won’t play again until Saturday, but Boldon said he plans on practicing every day the rest of the week besides Tuesday. Considering how Ohio played on Monday, his players are prepared for a different Thanksgiving break than most.
“Intense,” Lampkins said about practice this week. “I expect a lot of yelling.”