Just over a week ago, the Bobcats were one game out of first place in the Mid-American Conference.
A third-consecutive regular season conference championship was within reach.
Since that time, the team has lost three straight games. For the first time in three years, the Bobcats likely won’t have a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament.
They own a tiebreaker with Toledo for fifth place, but even a home game in the first round of the conference tournament is an uncertainty at this point. However, there is still time (though, not much) to correct the mistakes that led to a sobering point in the season.
The three remaining opponents on the schedule sport a combined 8-35 conference record this season. Beginning with Miami on Saturday at 2 p.m. in The Convo, Ohio will have the opportunity to re-discover the good habits that have typically defined it against some of the worst teams in the conference.
The most important aspect for the Bobcats to normalize is their shooting. Despite a dreadful record, the Miami defense won’t make an offensive revival easy for Ohio. The Miami defense ranks in the top half of the conference in most defensive categories.
The Bobcats didn’t shoot well in their first game against the RedHawks, either (38 percent). But they were able to score 79 points against the RedHawks thanks largely to their 12-of-28 3-point shooting.
The 3-point shot can be the equalizer when the Bobcat offense is stalling. Despite ranking ninth in the MAC 3-point percentage, the Bobcats take the most 3-pointers per game in the MAC.
When the Bobcats make 10 or more 3-pointers this season, they are 11-1. Otherwise, they are 7-7.
When the opponent is forced to respect the Bobcats from the perimeter, it becomes easier for Quiera Lampkins, Yamonie Jenkins and Taylor Agler to get inside. That penetration inside is the catalyst of their ball movement, which creates open shots.
Offense has never been a strength for the Bobcats this season, but it’s also never been as bad as it has been recently.
Overall, the Bobcats shoot 38.7 percent from the field, good for eighth in the MAC. In their last three games, they shot 33 percent, which would rank dead last in the conference.
As coach Bob Boldon has said, the quality of shots the Bobcats have been taking hasn’t been the problem. The shots they take are simply not going in.
After another disappointing offensive performance in Wednesday’s loss to Buffalo, Boldon said he still believes in his team. But with just three games remaining before the conference tournament, the Bobcats better reward his faith soon.