KENT — After having a career game a week ago, Kelly Karlis was one basket away from giving her team a little momentum with under a minute left in the game. To end regulation, Karlis made a game tying layup with 0.2 seconds left. She was tasked once again to be the savior for the Bobcats.
With 44 seconds left in overtime, Taylor Agler stole the inbound pass. Agler passed to Karlis, and she drove straight to the basket. She went up for the layup and was called for a charge, her fifth foul and the fourth Ohio player to foul out.
Ohio was forced to finish the game without every playmaker in the game. Hannah Boesinger and Jasmine Weatherspoon fouled out under two minutes left in the game. Quiera Lampkins fouled out with eight seconds left in regulation.
Though Ohio was able to take the game into overtime, foul trouble and missed shots hurt Ohio as it fell in its second straight game 83-77 in the MAC Center on Saturday afternoon.
"The amount of shots we have missed in the past two games is alarming," coach Bob Boldon said after the game. "It's not fun when you miss (47) shots."
For three quarters, Ohio controlled Kent State defensively. Ohio forced 15 turnovers and didn't allow Kent State to score for the first four and a half minutes of the second quarter.
Then Larissa Lurken came alive in the second half and overtime.
With Jordan Korniek and McKenna Stephens controlling the inside scoring for Kent State, Ohio focused more on slowing that than on Lurken, who only had five points at the end of the first half. Though she scored 26 second half and overtime points, it was her 12-of-13 stat at the free throw line that was a blaring problem for Ohio.
Ohio allowed almost as many free throw attempts as it had missed shots. The Bobcats allowed Kent State to shoot 45 free throws.
Boldon knows his team fouls a lot, that is something he has been trying to fix in terms of getting his players to be in the right position to avoid having to foul. But allowing 45 free throw attempts is something that will loom over the loss to Kent State.
Ohio (18-7, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) needed to beat Kent State. Following the loss to Central Michigan on Wednesday night, Ohio needed to win out to get a higher seed. But for the second time this season, Ohio lost to Kent State, and for the first time this season, it has lost back-to-back games.
With four games left in the regular season, Ohio's main focus is on the MAC Tournament. Though it can't win the regular season title, it still can prove it hasn't given up.
"I thought the last two games were really good basketball games," Boldon said. "It's uncharacteristic and unfortunate that we ended up on the side we did."