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Ohio's Peyton Guice dribbles the ball down the court during the Bobcats' game versus Marshall on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, in The Convocation Center. Ohio won the match 67-51. (FILE)

Women's Basketball: Peyton Guice steps up in a big way for Ohio

Peyton Guice lined up at the free throw line. She hit her fourth charity shot in a row to lessen Akron’s lead to two points heading into the half. 

Guice’s six second quarter points were crucial for a team that was struggling to shoot and deep into foul trouble. 

“I think she just helped a lot,” senior guard Amani Burke said. “She was very vocal, she’s very energetic and she’s young, so whenever she comes out its like a breath of fresh air.”

Ohio needed fresh air after a first half in which it shot 29.3% from the field and went 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The freshman point guard came in and shot 2-for-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line for a career-high eight points when the Bobcats needed it the most.

All Guice wanted to do when she came off the bench was to help the team in any way possible.

“Whether it be scoring, playing defense, moving the basketball, setting screens,” Guice said. “Whatever I had to do to help better our team was my biggest goal when I got out there.”

Guice’s impact on the court was huge, especially in the absence of Ohio’s two best players, Erica Johnson and Cece Hooks, who both found themselves in foul trouble during the first half of the 70-57 win over Akron. Guice tied her career-high with 19 minutes, although it was by far the most meaningful minutes she has received in a game this season. 

Her play did not disappoint. She’s has been waiting for an opportunity like this all season.

“She’s so cerebral, Boldon said. “She’s got a great understanding of the game and that helps. I think that’s helped her growth, that she has such a great understanding of what’s going on.”

Playing behind guards like Hooks, Burke and Johnson doesn’t allow for many opportunities to play, especially as a freshman.

“It was shocking at first, I came in and I was expecting a lot different,” Guice said. “But they continue to push me every day in practice, and it only has helped me prepare myself to be on the court the way I am now.”

The freshman has been tough defensively, but this was the first time she really came into her own offensively for Ohio.

“Defensively for the last two or three weeks, she’s been really solid,” Boldon said. “I thought this was the first time offensively she’s really seemed to feel comfortable and fit in.”

The more she fits in, the better for the Bobcats (13-6, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) as they look to increase depth.

Ohio will look to her to come off the bench and provide the same resurgence Saturday against MAC-leading Central Michigan, who beat the Bobcats by two points earlier this season and has yet to lose a conference game.


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