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Armani Burke (3) stands during the National Anthem prior to the game against Kent State in the Convocation Center Saturday MATT STARKEY|STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Women's Basketball: Ohio's offense needs to catch up as defense regains strength

The season has gone back and forth for the Bobcats. They've played solid defense for a stretch of games, only to play decent on offense. At the start of the new year, however, that was flipped. The Bobcats played well on offense, but they didn't on defense. 

If Ohio continues to play solid defense, it will be fine. The Bobcats' offense doesn't need to be potent. 

Now, they have returned to the point in which the defense is better than the offense.

After defeating Toledo and Eastern Michigan, the Bobcats have begun to play solid defense again. They allowed an average of just 53 points in the past two games.

In the past two weeks, OU has prioritized playing better on defense. But as the defense regains strength, the Bobcats' offense will need to catch back up. 

"This week we'll try to be a little bit more balanced," coach Bob Boldon said after practice Monday.

Ohio will play Western Michigan (14-4, 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference) Wednesday at 7 p.m. in The Convo.

Like Ohio (14-4, 5-2 MAC), Western Michigan is a solid defensive team. The Broncos allow an average of 59.2 points per game, which has them tied for first in the MAC for scoring defense.

So, the Bobcats are going to need to find ways to score, particularly ways that don't always involve Quiera Lampkins driving to the basket for a bucket. 

The team's leading scorer and the No. 2 scorer in the MAC, Lampkins, who averages 19.2 points per game, is likely the player who Western Michigan wants to stop the most. 

Western Michigan did the same thing last season, though, and held former Ohio guard Kiyanna Black to eight points. Black was the team's leading scorer last season. She averaged 18 points per game. 

Despite Black struggling to play well, Lampkins emerged. She scored a career-high 33 points, shooting 12-of-22 from the field.

Now, Lampkins is the Bobcats’ best player. If the Broncos contain her, another player will need to emerge.

“One of the nice things about this team is that we’ve had a number of different players step up in different situations,” Boldon said.

The Bobcats play their best on offense when each player is used effectively. Lampkins routinely drives to the basket, which creates shots for 3-point shooters such as Katie Barker and Kelly Karlis.

Opponents will focus on Lampkins, and because of this other players will have opportunities to score.

“Depending on what they do to take her away will kind of dictate which one of our players will become more valuable and more of a scoring option for us,” Boldon said.

The Bobcats are on a two-game win streak and it's defense is fine again. The offense has to catch up, but the challenge for Ohio is to keep both the offense and defense on the same level.

It's what the Bobcats must do in order to consistently win games. 

“Now, the challenge is always to add one more (win),” Boldon said.


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