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Sophomore Yaya Felder (2) goes to shoot a basket against Bowling Green in the Convo on Feb. 8, 2023.

Women's Basketball: Ohio struggles in 81-44 loss to first-place Bowling Green

Ohio's (4-18, 2-9 Mid-American Conference) game on Wednesday night showed it has a long way to go if it wants to be among the best teams in the conference. After a competitive first quarter, Bowling Green (21-2, 10-1 MAC) dismantled Ohio.

The Bobcats had a lead in the first quarter when Jasmine Hale knocked down a 3-pointer to make the score 5-3. Even after the Falcons went on a 15-2 scoring run, the Bobcats kept their composure. Ohio freshman Cassidy Lafler made an impact early with two free throws, and Yaya Felder scored the next five points in the game. Two Abby Garnett free throws capped a 9-0 Ohio scoring run to end the first quarter.

Jaya McClure got the Bobcats on the board in the second with a 3-pointer, but the Falcons didn't let the Bobcats grab a lead. The Falcons scored ten straight points, until McClure finally ended the Bobcats' scoring drought, but at that point the Bobcats still trailed by ten. Facing the team that forces the most turnovers in the MAC, the Bobcats struggled with the pressure. The Bobcats committed 17 first half turnovers, one of which led to a Falcon 3-pointer. McClure and Felder did their best to keep the Bobcats offense afloat, but the Falcons made shot after shot and took a 17-point lead into halftime.

Lafler talked about how the Falcons have so much success turning over their opponents,

"The pressure was amazing by them..." Lafler said. "They're just in the right spots at the right time, and they get it done".

Any hope the Bobcats had of pulling off a second half comeback was crushed when the Falcons opened the third quarter with a 15-3 scoring run. Kailah Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer to try to get the Bobcats back in the right direction, but the Falcons were quick to answer with a three of their own and maintained a 26 point lead going into the fourth quarter.

With the game already decided, the Bobcats failed to play with a lot of energy in the fourth quarter. They failed to score in the first four and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, until Lafler made two more free throws. The Bobcats couldn't inch any closer in the fourth quarter and lost 81-44.

Ohio head coach Bob Boldon knew the Falcons would be a tough test.

"Bowling Green was really good," Boldon said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of matching their effort early, but they seemed to take advantage of every mistake we made, that's what good teams do."

McClure led the team with 14 points, which was one shy of her career-high. Felder had a relatively quiet night for the Bobcats with only eight points, but she managed to impact the game defensively with eight rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.

McClure talked about her success on offense,

"Mainly it was my drives that were working... I've just been getting a good mentality during the season," McClure said. "And just making sure that I keep progressing."


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