Ohio (0-3, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) knew it would have to play sensational to upset No. 8 Ohio State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten), but Ohio's turnover plagued first half cost it any chance of winning the game as it lost 86-56 Thursday.
The Bobcats took the first lead of the game when Caitlyn Kroll made one of two free throws, but the Buckeyes were not fazed and scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 11-3 lead.
Early in the game, the Buckeyes went to a full court press, and the Bobcats struggled to adjust. They committed six turnovers in the game's first five minutes, and the Buckeyes took full advantage. Kroll got on the board again with a 3-pointer to cut the Buckeye lead to three. However, the Buckeyes forced five more turnovers and scored the last seven points to end the first quarter with a 18-8 lead.
Ohio coach Bob Bolden talked about what makes Ohio State's defense so good.
"Their press is really good," Boldon said. "They're just constantly around you, and they've got great hands. They play with a great amount of effort, so I thought they were as good as advertised in that regard."
Yaya Felder had a nice jump shot to start the scoring in the second quarter, but the Buckeyes full court press continued to be effective. They scored seven straight points to extend their lead to 15.
Felder kept the Bobcats' offense afloat with back-to-back layups, but again the Buckeyes answered with a big scoring run. The Buckeyes scored 11 straight points to take their biggest lead of the first half. Felder finished her solid second quarter with a layup to cut the Buckeye lead to 21 at halftime.
Felder picked up right where she left off to start the second half with a 3-pointer. If Felder's strong play had put any suspense in the match, the Buckeyes swiftly ended it with nine more points to extend their lead to 27.
The Bobcats' struggles continued throughout the third quarter, and they failed to severely cut into the Buckeye lead. By the end of the third quarter, the Buckeyes led by as much as 33.
Although the game was already out of reach, Felder continued to play well. She had three assists early in the fourth quarter, and with 2:32 to go in the game, Felder had a layup that gave her a new single-game career high in points. The Buckeyes won the game 86-56 despite a fourth quarter that saw the two teams play very well offensively.
Boldon talked about Felder's importance to the team after the game Thursday.
"She has been trying to find her footing earlier this season," Boldon said. "She's been battling foul trouble the first couple of games and just really had a hard time getting into any kind of rhythm. But the thing about Yaya is that she is incredibly unselfish. She just wants to do whatever the team needs her to do."
Felder was the only Bobcat to finish with more than 10 points. Felder had 21 points, which was one more than her previous single-game career high. Felder also led the team with four assists, although Ella Pope wasn't far behind with three. Pope also had nine points, which was the second most of any Bobcat.
Pope talked about the younger Bobcats finding their way despite the loss.
"In terms of experience we're a pretty young team," Pope said. "I think that every single game we're finding things to work on, and finding ways to pull together."