Ohio will begin a new season Monday when it takes on Long Island University in The Convo. After a disappointing finish to the 2021-22 season, Ohio is excited to have a fresh start, and it has a golden opportunity to start the season on the right foot. LIU didn't win a single game in its nonconference slate last year and was projected to finish seventh in the Northeastern Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Bobcats lost many key contributors from last year's team. Because of that, it may take time before this team can gel and play as one. Regardless of the outcome of the first game, the Bobcats will take a step toward finding their identity.
Opponent: Long Island University
Location: The Convo (Athens, OH)
Date and Time: Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.
How to watch: ESPN 3
Meet the opponent:
Head Coach: Rene Haynes
Player to watch: Emaia O'Brien
Like the Bobcats, the Sharks' starting lineup for the first game is very much unknown. However, Emaia O'Brien's impact is not unknown.
O'Brien was the second-leading scorer for the Sharks last season as a freshman. She averaged 9.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. In addition, she played the majority of the season with 656 total minutes. If the Sharks want to beat the Bobcats, O'Brien will have to play well.
Why this game matters:
Ohio is one of the youngest teams in the MAC, and the first couple of games will be a test of its strengths and weaknesses. If Ohio struggles to mesh together as a team early in the season, wins could be hard to come by. A win over LIU might go a long way in helping Ohio come together as one and steady the ship after key losses from last year's team.