Ohio defeated Walsh on Saturday 83-77 in the Convo ahead of a season where the Bobcats have high expectations of what they can accomplish.
The Bobcats had three players score in double digits. This includes two starters even though Ohio’s starting five played little to no minutes in the second half.
Caitlyn Kroll led all scorers with 20 points and shot 53% from the field. Erica Johnson and Gabby Burris added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Here are three takeaways from Ohio’s exhibition game with the Cavaliers.
Kroll shines in the second half
Coach Bob Boldon did not play Ohio’s starters for most of the second half so he could get a better look at what the bench was capable of in extended time.
Kroll took advantage of the opportunity.
Along with her 20 points, the redshirt sophomore added six rebounds and was consistent at the free throw line shooting 50%.
17 of her 20 points came in the second half when she became more of the focal point of the offense with no starters on the floor.
“It was good to know that my teammates have a lot of confidence in me,” she said.
Kroll played 31 minutes for Ohio in the exhibition, the most on the team on Saturday. Boldon regrets having her played so much, but liked the performance she had.
Bobcats attack the offensive glass
Ohio has consistently struggled with rebounding the basketball and Boldon is well aware of the persistent issue.
“There’s no secret: we’re a bad rebounding team,” Boldon said. “We’ve been a bad rebounding team for years.”
Last season, the Bobcats had issues specifically securing offensive rebounds and it showed since they only averaged 11 per game last season.
In the win over the Cavaliers on Saturday, however, Ohio had 19 offensive rebounds compared to Walsh’s 12. They also won the overall rebounding battle 49-42.
While Boldon doesn’t like that pulling in 19 offensive rebounds means that they had to miss 19 shots, he was pleased with the effort that he saw from his players on the boards, specifically Maddie Bazelak and Deesh Beck, who finished with 10 and nine rebounds respectively.
3-Ball was not there for Ohio
The 3-pointer was a crucial part of Ohio’s offensive game last season. The Bobcats shot 35% from deep in 2018-19 and the threat of the perimeter shot helped them find good looks at the basket when the shot was well-covered.
Walsh was able to stifle that potent Bobcat outside the game and held Ohio to 27% from behind-the-arc.
Boldon is confident in the Bobcats’ ability to make 3-pointers and wants them to continue to space the floor with the deep ball. But if it isn’t falling for them like it usually does, then he wants to see the Bobcats attack the paint more.
Boldon also felt that Ohio took some 3-pointers that were too deep and he wants them to be aware of how far behind the line they are when they shoot.
“We don’t practice shooting 20-foot 3-pointers,” Boldon said. “We practice shooting 3-pointers right on the 3-point line.”
Ohio opens up its season on the road against No. 21 ranked Syracuse on Tuesday. Tip-off from the Carrier Dome is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled Bob Boldon’s name. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.