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Ohio’s guard Erica Johnson (No. 4) takes a shot against Liberty in a game held at The Convo on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. 

Women's Basketball: Instant reactions from Ohio's season opening win against Liberty

Ohio kicked off its 2020-2021 season on Wednesday in the Convo against a Liberty team ready to battle. The Bobcats struggled out the gate and trailed for most of the game, but behind a big-time  performance from Erica Johnson, the Bobcats were able to extinguish the Flames 76-72. 

More than a game

You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that police brutality and race relations have been topics heavily discussed throughout the country. On Wednesday, Ohio made a statement by choosing to take a knee during the National Anthem. Ohio student athletes have stepped up this year in providing their voice for change on campus. The women’s basketball team clearly showed where they stand. 

Brick city 

Year in and out, Ohio is one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country, but with the loss of Amani Burke and Katie Barker to graduation, Ohio coach Bob Boldon needs to find someone that can protect the Bobcats reputation. 

The Bobcats started Wednesday’s game 0-9 from 3-pt range before Edecia Beck sank one from the corner late in the second quarter. Ohio started to heat up a bit in the second half using Johnson and Caitlyn Kroll, but a 28.6% 3-point percentage for the game is way off the Bobcats’ goals. 

New faces in new places 

This season is bound to have up and downs, and the Bobcats will need depth in order to handle the problems. Boldon wanted to see that depth as early as possible. By the end of the first quarter, 10 of the Bobcats’ 12 players had played. 

In the midst of the mass substitutions were some funky looking lineups. Ohio needs a playmaker for when CeCe Hooks and Erica Johnson aren’t on the court. That could be Peyton Guice, but who knows. Last season Ohio usually played seven or eight players a game, but with shooting from guards like Caitlyn Kroll and Jasmine Hale and height from Abby Garnett and Madi Mace, Boldon’s going to have an interesting time seeing how to put his puzzle pieces together. 

Even at her worst... 

Even when things aren’t going Erica Johnson’s way, she still manages to be the best player on the court. Johnson led all scorers with 31 points and 8 rebounds. Johnson struggled for most of the game and missed eight 3-pointers before making her first. Still, Johnson never let up and continued to shoot. By the third quarter, Johnson was able to get out of her slump to help the Bobcats secure the win.

@JL_ Kirven  

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