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Taylor Agler walks off the court during Ohio's game against North Kentucky on Nov. 21. Ohio won 58-41. (FILE)

Women's Basketball: Defense-to-offense leads Ohio to 3-1 in MAC play

With 2.7 seconds left in the third quarter, Akron turned the ball over. That turned into a Kelly Karlis 3-pointer as time expired, which extended Ohio’s lead to 10 going into the final quarter.

The Akron turnover was one of eight that quarter, which resulted in 13 points off of those turnovers for the Bobcats. Ohio finished with 26 points off turnovers and forced 20 turnovers in its 85-69 win Wednesday night over Akron at the James A. Rhodes Arena.

In the two non-conference losses earlier in December, Ohio struggled with capitalizing off turnovers. In those two games, the offense lacked consistency, and each time the defense came up with a turnover, the offense didn’t get a good shot or simply any shot to fall.

Following a road loss to Northern Illinois, Ohio forced Akron to make mental mistakes and found a way to produce points on the mistakes and get the win.

“I thought the last three games, we shot the ball pretty well,” coach Bob Boldon said after the game, “which is certainly something we like to see, and obviously we scored some points so that helps you feel good in that regard.”

It was simply a strong shooting performance from Ohio. 

The Bobcats jumped out to an eight-point first quarter lead. It shot 6-13 from three in that quarter. While they didn’t take as many three’s in the second half, they had a better percentage in the second half making 3-of-8 and finished 36.7 percent for the game.

In addition to the strong shooting, Ohio’s ball distribution was the best it has been, practically all season. Ohio finished with four players in double figures: Quiera Lampkins (15), Jasmine Weatherspoon (19), Yamonie Jenkins (10) and Hannah Boesinger (10).

Though there were many positives to take away from its win, Ohio still needs to work on the little things as it gets deeper into conference play.

The defense was able to force long possessions and force a lot of turnovers Wednesday night, but at times, the defense slacked and allowed Akron open shots.

“Our defensive intensity was pretty poor,” Boldon said. “And our ability to locate shooters in the first half, we just took a break and good teams don’t do that.”

In the second quarter, from the 7:36 mark to the media timeout at the 4:53 mark, Akron’s Megan Sefcik and Hannah Plybon combined for 15 of Akron’s 21 points that quarter, all open three pointers — with an exception to one which was a three-point play.

As Boldon said at the end of the game, his team isn’t a finished product. Though the team isn’t necessarily where they could be at this point, they still have the better part of the conference schedule to fix the problems they were faced with tonight and throughout the season.

It seems Ohio will go through droughts where the defense can stall an offense, but the offense can’t finish each game and vice versa. Just four games into conference play, Ohio needs to find a way to get more consistent on both ends of the court.

The more the offense struggles to score when the defense is stalling an offense, the harder it’s going to be for Ohio to win.

For Ohio (12-3, 3-1 Mid-American Conference), it has just a few days to work on the inconsistencies as it prepares to face Kent State at The Convo on Saturday afternoon, tip-off at 1 p.m.


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