Ohio (2-14, 0-5 Mid-American Conference) took on Western Michigan (8-8, 3-2 MAC) Wednesday evening in a game where Ohio ran out of energy in the second half. Both teams shot 50% from three in the first half, but Western Michigan's depth was too much for Ohio and it gained ground in the second half.
The first quarter had been a point of contention for Ohio this season, as it often starts slow and has to work back from a deficit. That was different Wednesday as Ohio was leading Western Michigan after the first quarter, 17-16. A key to this first-quarter success was a balanced attack as six different Ohio players scored in the first half.
A key to Ohio's game is the 3-point line, as when shooting well, Ohio can stick with any team in the MAC, which was evident in the first half. In the second half, Ohio and Western Michigan's shooting percentages both fell back down to earth. The difference in success for the two teams was that Western Michigan could find interior scoring.
The Bobcats came out of halftime and only scored four points in the third quarter. From there, they could never get the scoring back on track.
"We just got out of sync at the beginning of the third quarter," head coach Bob Boldon said after the game. "And we didn't really get back into things. We should have done a better job of getting the ball in different spots."
Abby Garnett has played well since entering MAC play, and that continued Wednesday as she added nine points and six rebounds. Despite the result, she had many positive takeaways from Wednesday's loss.
"I think out of every loss we've experienced this year, we are obviously right there," Garnett said. "We just tried to take, whatever it is, mistakes made and move forward to the next day. We have got to move on and focus on the next game."
Ohio came out with energy in the first half. Still, Western Michigan just kept pushing the pace and eventually overwhelmed Ohio, a story that has been all too familiar this season.