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Ohio head coach Bob Boldon goes over strategies during a timeout during Ohio's 72-44 win against rivals Miami (OH) on Feb. 17, 2016. Boldon and the Bobcats play against High Point on Saturday in their first game of the 2016-17 season. (FILE)

Women's Basketball: Three things the Bobcats need to fix to get back on track

The dream of an at-large bid might be spiraling out of reach for the Bobcats. Saturday’s 68-65 loss to Kent State was the first time they had lost twice in a week since 2014.

The Golden Flashes have been a nice story this season, with yesterday’s win giving them their highest win total since the 2010-11 season. But the Bobcats have been a conference power for two years now, and the loss to Kent State is more a symptom of what they’ve been doing wrong than the charming improvement the Golden Flashes have made.

Here are three things Ohio needs to appropriate to regain its peak form.

Defense, or lack thereof

Coach Bob Bodon has been bemoaning over his team’s sloppy defensive performance since the Northern Illinois game. In the three games the Bobcats played last week, they had players foul out six times. In the 13 games before that, the Bobcats had nine such instances.

Boldon said the amplified foul trouble was a sign of not being in the right positions on the court at the right times. For the season, Ohio is last in the Mid-American Conference in free throws allowed per field goal attempt, which means no team in the conference allows its opponent to shoot free throws at a higher rate than the Bobcats.

They haven’t cracked the top half of the conference in that category all season, but they weren’t dead last until this month. Last week, Ohio allowed .446 free throws per field goal attempt. That’s nearly a free throw every other shot attempt, and that will lead to performances like Saturday, where the Golden Flashes shot 36.5 percent from the field but still won because of their 25-of-34 performance from the foul line.

Taking teams lightly?

Taylor Agler said Saturday she thought the Bobcats might not be taking teams seriously based on their record. Have the Bobcats become overconfident?

It’s possible. In the 10 games Ohio has faced an opponent with a record of .500 or below, the Bobcats have averaged 14.2 turnovers per game, as opposed to the 11.2 turnovers per game they average against teams with winning records.

Common logic suggests it would be harder to take care of the ball against higher level opponents, but the Bobcats haven’t shown that tendency. Maybe Agler has a point.

Kelly Karlis, still trying to find her way back

Karlis has played in six games since she returned from a five game injury-related absence.

Before the injury, Karlis averaged 8.6 points on 46.7 percent shooting, six shot attempts per game and 4.8 rebounds in 23.8 minutes. Since returning from an injury, Karlis has 4.5 points on 45 percent shooting, 3.3 shot attempts and 3.5 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game, if you remove the outlier six minute run she had against North Carolina A&T.

Boldon said the Bobcats need to do better at getting Karlis some more shots, but overall, it seems like Karlis isn’t quite back to her usual self yet.


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