Kelly Karlis was hanging around the left wing with just over three minutes left in the game. Ohio had just surrendered the lead for the first time since the six minute mark in the second quarter.
With Ohio down one point and the shot clock winding down, Karlis got the pass and swished a contested 3-pointer to regain the lead.
This time, though, Ohio held the lead for the remainder of the game, beating Ball State 72-68 Saturday afternoon at Worthen Arena.
The Bobcats knew Ball State was going to try and keep them from penetrating the lane, which is what Quiera Lampkins does best. While Ball State successfully kept Ohio and Lampkins from scoring a lot inside, they weren't anticipating Ohio to be prolific — making 16 3s all game — from behind the 3-point line, thanks to Karlis and Amani Burke.
"Ball State was committed to taking away our layups and they did a very good job of it," coach Bob Boldon said after the game. "And thankfully we had some kids step up and make some shots. Kelly's three to put us up there at the end was a big time shot."
In the first quarter, Karlis scored eight of the team's 14 points and had 12 at halftime. Though she only hit one shot in the second half, it was the most important shot of the game for Ohio as it gave the Bobcats momentum and a 65-63 lead late in the game.
Burke dominated early as well. Coming off the bench, Burke scored six straight points, extending Ohio's run in the second quarter to 12-0. She finished the half with nine points.
"They're big because it helps diversify us," Boldon said of Burke and Karlis. "The more people we have scoring, the harder it becomes to guard Quiera."
Burke and Karlis both had career games. Burke tied her career-high with 13 points, and Karlis got a career-high 15 points. Lampkins finished with 14 points, Yamonie Jenkins with 15 points, and Taylor Agler with 10 points.
Ohio (18-5, 9-3 Mid-American Conference) has won six of its last seven games. The lone loss to its next opponent, Central Michigan.
Ohio's going to need another all-around scoring performance from its team to get past the Chippewas.
With five of the eight players that played scoring in double digits Saturday, Boldon is going to be looking for a repeat Wednesday night against Central Michigan as it will look to slow Lampkins down like it did in the first game two weeks prior.
"Those are the types of things that make a championship team and allows you to make a run is you either have to have one really good player or a bunch of them and I think we're starting to get a couple of them that can play a little bit," Boldon said. "With six games left, it's exciting. Nice to see us moving in the right direction."