Ohio took on their in-state rivals Ohio State this evening. It was a tough matchup for Ohio, as they were defeated 86-56 by the No. 8 team in the country.
Ohio State was led by Jacy Sheldon, sister of Ohio men's basketball freshman, Ajay Sheldon. While she led Ohio State in scoring, it was her and the Buckeye defense that proved to be the difference in this matchup.
After Ohio took an early lead, Ohio State responded with a quick score. After the basket, they immediately hopped into a full court press. Even though Ohio understood that this was their usual defense, they struggled early.
"I mean, that's Ohio State's bread and butter," sophomore Ella Pope said. "How many turnovers did they have?"
This question was an interesting insight into the strong defense that the Buckeyes played throughout the game. Their defense not only had 18 steals, but forced 33 turnovers and scored 41 points off of them. This was the difference in the game as the Bobcats hung with the Buckeyes in the half court.
The strong Ohio State defense was highly valued by Ohio as it will probably be the most difficult defense that it will play for the entire season.
"They are constantly around you and they got great hands," head coach Bob Boldon said. "They play with a great amount of effort and they were as good as advertised."
Although Ohio has had a rough start to the season, it will try to maintain positivity as it is a young team that is continuing to learn each other's play styles and how to coexist as a team.
"Caitlyn Kroll and Abby Garnett are amazing players and really amazing teammates," Pope said. "They got our back in terms of morale for sure, so that's amazing."
Going into the second half, the Buckeyes maintained their defensive pressure and the Bobcats struggled, but it provided a learning experience for a very young Bobcats team.
"I thought our kids competed and our kids tried," Boldon said. "The turnovers and then you combine that with their 24/7 defense, you are not going to beat a lot of teams."