When the starting lineup is chosen, it's generally based on who the best five players are to start the game strong.
Recently for Ohio, it's been the bench that's helped Ohio in its most crucial points. Against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 21, it was Dominique Doseck who scored 12 points off the bench.
Against Western Michigan on Wednesday night, it was Katie Barker and Hannah Boesinger that carried a lot of the weight in that win.
The success of the bench is going to be just as big for Ohio on Saturday as it faces Miami in Oxford for a 1 p.m. tip-off.
"It's really big for us," Barker said of the bench production. "Obviously our starters are really good, but it’s important for any basketball team to have people to come off the bench and be able to score and be a positive production to the team.”
With the team uncertain of the extent Jasmine Weatherspoon’s apparent knee injury, Boesinger is likely to get the start for the Bobcats.
This changes how the team has to prepare for Miami.
With it’s best post player most likely out, coach Bob Boldon has to rely on Boesinger to play just as strong as she did Wednesday night. With her reputation of getting into foul trouble, Boesinger is going to have to play better, mentally, to keep from getting into foul trouble.
If her minutes get limited because of foul trouble, Ohio will be in a bind in protecting against inside scoring.
In the backcourt, Yamonie Jenkins and Taylor Agler will be busy trying to slow down RedHawks freshman, Lauren Dickerson who averages 15.2 ppg.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Agler or Jenkins as they are two of the scrappiest players in the Bobcats’ front court and plus the defending Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year — Lampkins.
Between the defense finding a consistent stride and the bench showing its depth, Ohio shouldn’t be too let down with Weatherspoon’s injury. Obviously for the Bobcats (15-4, 6-2 MAC), they’d want to have her healthy for as many games as possible.
But not having her isn’t necessarily a bad thing, at least short term. Boesinger showed she can fill in the role when called upon and Lampkins showed she can trust her teammates to finish when she sets them up.
Now it’s time for them to put everything into motion and move forward.
“We need to come out on defense better,” Boesinger said. “That’s going to huge for us on Saturday is to come out ready to play the whole game.”