Ohio was in search of its third-straight win Wednesday night but a scrappy Ball State wouldn’t let it go. It would take an extra period to decide it but Ohio would ultimately fall to the Cardinals 88-85 in overtime at The Convo
Here are The Post’s instant reactions from Ohio’s loss to Ball State.
A tale of two quarters
Ohio played its worst offense of the season in the first quarter of Wednesday's game and no, I’m not being dramatic. The Bobcats couldn’t hit a 3-pointer but didn’t stop trying. And things got bad, then worse, then awful. Ohio finished the quarter 5-for-22 on field goals and 0-for-13 from 3-point range. None of Ohio’s shooters looked comfortable and frankly neither did Ball State.
Despite Ohio’s worst stretch of the season, the Bobcats only trailed by five thanks to the 10 turnovers it forced. It seemed as if the 3-pointer wouldn’t be a factor in the game but then the second quarter happened.
Ohio and Ball State combined to hit their first six 3-pointers in the second quarter and just like that both offenses took off. Caitlyn Kroll (20 points) found her rhythm from the Toledo game and sunk four in the quarter alone. After missing their first 13, the Bobcats made six 3-pointers before the half and trailed the Cardinals 41-42 at the half.
Erica Johnson’s last stand
After being held scoreless at the half, Erica Johnson put Ohio on her back in the second half. The redshirt junior finished with 18 points, five assists and three rebounds. Johnson played all of the fourth quarter and overtime with one foul to give and made the 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.
Despite the loss, Johnson’s heroic efforts can’t go unnoticed, she came through for her team in one of the most impressive performances of her storied career.
It’s been a weird season having limited fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for a short while, Wednesday's game had the feel of a true home game. That was in part to the Ohio’s men’s basketball team.
The men’s team gave Ohio a boost from the stands with cheers, trolls to Ball State and just overall energy. When the Bobcats went on an 11-0 run late in the third, the men’s team had The Convo walls vibrating. It was an added bonus for the Bobcats in a game where energy was pretty tough to find.
End the week strong
Ohio can end this week on a high note but it’s going to be tough.
The Bobcats travel to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to battle Central Michigan on Saturday. Ohio lost to the Chippewas on Jan.2 90-87 in The Convo, so redemption will be on the mind. Central Michigan has had Ohio’s number for a the past few years but it’s always close when the two teams meet up. A win on Saturday could be what Ohio needs to climb back into the Mid-American Conference title race.