Ohio (6-22, 4-13 Mid-American Conference) has taken a lead into halftime in its last two games but has nothing to show for it.
On Wednesday night, Ohio had a seven-point lead at halftime over Miami (12-18, 7-10 MAC), but in the second half it became too reliant on Yaya Felder offensively, and defensively, it couldn't string together stops.
The Bobcats started out strong behind a balanced offensive attack that saw three different Bobcats go for 10 or more points in the first half. The Bobcats were solid defensively even after the injury of Abby Garnett. The Bobcats held the RedHawks to only 28 points through the game's first 17 minutes, but the Red Hawks started to get back into the game when they ended the second half on a 7-3 scoring run.
In the second half the Red Hawks made some key defensive adjustments that made the Bobcats' offense slow down. The RedHawks went to a 1-2-2 zone and the Bobcats failed to score for the first two minutes of the second half. Felder made a 3-point jumper to stretch Ohio's lead to 11 but Miami scored the next four points, which led to an Ohio timeout.
In the middle of the third quarter, Felder and the Bobcats' offense went on a scoring drought that lasted more than three minutes and the RedHawks took the lead. Kailah Johnson and Felder made shots to keep the Bobcats in the lead going into the fourth quarter, but because Felder scored eight points in the third quarter and the rest of the team only managed to score five points, the Bobcats' seven-point lead was cut to one.
Felder continued to be the main playmaker in the Bobcats' offense in the fourth quarter, but her teammates started to step up. Johnson made a 3-point jumper, but the Bobcats' defense started to crack. The RedHawks scored on four straight possessions to take a two-point lead. Much like the quarter before it, the Bobcats went on another scoring drought, and when it ended the Bobcats trailed by four. Dennis hit a 3-point jumper to get the Bobcats within one, but the RedHawks continued to get score after score.
The Red Hawks scored 11 points in the final two minutes and won the game 81-75. The Red Hawks scored 46 second-half points. Wednesday's loss was the second game in a row in which the Bobcats have given up more than 40 points in the second half.
Ohio Coach Bob Boldon talked about Ohio's struggles defensively in the past two games
"The last couple of games the second half defense hasn't been as good as it needs to be," Boldon said. "I was so proud of the way we played in the first half with energy. We're still learning how to deal with other team's runs and feeling sad, it's hard for them to do."
The Bobcats' offense couldn't keep up with the Redhawks in the second half because other than Felder, the Bobcats didn't have consistent scorers to rely on. After scoring 10 points in the first half, Jasmine Hale had two points in the second half. Jaya McClure went for 12 points in the first half but had one point in the second half.
McClure talked about how Ohio's offense wasn't the same in the second half,
"We stopped getting everyone involved as much as we did in the first half," McClure said. "I feel like it was kind of stagnant and if we would have been getting everybody involved more consistently the flow would've been there."