Ohio’s offense has dug itself out of many tough games this season. But Wednesday night, the hole was too deep.
“We know we can put up big quarters,” Ohio forward Dominique Doseck said. “That’s what we kept telling ourselves: ‘Dig in on D and get up quick shots.’”
But neither happened, and Ohio was handed its worse loss of the season Wednesday night.
After shooting 20 percent from the field, Ohio was blown out by Buffalo 73-43 in The Convo, slipping in its quest to secure a first-round bye in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and a chance at first place in the regular season.
“I’m hurt. We just had first place handed to us,” Doseck said.
Ohio (22-4, 11-4 MAC) entered Wednesday night’s game second in the conference standings with hopes of sweeping Buffalo (18-8, 10-5 MAC) in the season series. Conference leader Miami’s 11-game winning streak was finally snapped, and the Bobcats had a chance seize the opportunity.
The Bobcats held her to 35 points. Coach Bob Boldon thought it could have been worse.
“We kept her under 40,” Boldon said. “Which I thought she was definitely gonna get 40 the way that thing started.”
While Dillard tore through the Bobcats’ defense in the first half, Ohio’s offense failed to answer back. Ohio shot 25 percent from the field; at halftime, its two leading scorers — Cece Hooks and Erica Johnson — were both scoreless, and Ohio trailed 42-23.
The Bobcats hoped to claw themselves out of the hole in the second half, but the offense continued to sputter. The only bright spot was Amani Burke’s 19 points, but nothing could put a dent in Buffalo’s lead.
Down 30 in the fourth quarter, Ohio’s fight never wavered, but it was a wrap. All five starters were out of the game and the bench looked defeated.
All season long, Boldon has felt Ohio’s record overhyped the team too much.
“I’ve been very open with you guys if we’re a good team or a great team,” Boldon said. “I think we’ve just been teetering on that line.”
Ohio’s not going to dwell too much on the loss. With Miami falling to Kent State, the Bobcats are still in the hunt for a MAC title and will look to get back on track before the MAC Tournament when they face Akron on Saturday.