The Bobcats surprised everyone when they became one of three undefeated teams left in the country before Wednesday’s game against Central Michigan, reigning Mid-American Conference champion.
But Ohio finally met its match against perhaps the most talented team it will see this season.
Ohio’s best start in program history came to an end with its 88-70 loss to Central Michigan at The Convo. The Bobcats went undefeated in nonconference play and won 12 consecutive games before Wednesday’s loss, but never found consistency and were out rebounded 51-22 in a game that likely decided the team to beat in the MAC.
The Bobcats, who dropped their fifth-straight game against Central Michigan, had no answers for most of the Chippewas’ game plan. Central Michigan frequently brought heavy pressure in the paint and gave Ohio plenty of shooting space outside, but the Bobcats’ offense struggled to capitalize — it was 8-for-30 from beyond the 3-point line — and held its only lead for just over a minute in the first quarter.
Ohio’s offense struggled to crack Central Michigan’s defensive strategy all game. Cece Hooks was held to 15 points and shot 7-for-16, while Dominique Doseck, arguably the Bobcats’ best 3-point shooter, never attempted a 3-pointer in the first half and was held to six points.
Central Michigan, however, maintained consistency on both ends of the court for the full 40 minutes. The Chippewas shot 32-for-62 and were led by Reyna Frost, who broke the Mid-American Conference’s rebound record in Central Michigan’s win over Akron last •Saturday.
Frost notched a double-double by halftime. She was second on Central Michigan with 23 points and, with 17 rebounds, proved again that she is one of the best rebounders in the conference.
Ohio’s defense also couldn’t slow down Maddy Watters’ 3-pointers. She shot 4-for-6 from the 3-point line and took advantage of the Bobcats’ inability to match her quick release.
The Bobcats will look to rebound against In Muncie, Indiana, against Ball State next Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.