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Laylay Fantroy (2) going up for a shot at The Convo, Nov. 1. 2023.

Women’s Basketball: Ohio has a strong showing, defeats Marietta in exhibition play

Ohio faced off against Marietta in the season’s opening scrimmage on Wednesday night.

This was the first action of the year for both teams, opening their season in the Convocation Center. The Bobcats came into the game looking to start fresh coming off a disappointing 2022-23 campaign. After losing 2nd team all-MAC standout Yaya Felder in the transfer portal, Ohio was hoping to gain important contributions from incoming freshmen and transfers. 

The opening quarter started slow for Ohio. Junior guard Kennedi Watkins split her free throws to open the game’s scoring, but the Bobcat's offense struggled following the opening score and Marietta took advantage, going up early in the first quarter. It didn’t take long for Ohio to find its rhythm, however, as a three from Madi Mace opened the floodgates for an incredible quarter for the Bobcats shooting-wise. Ohio finished the quarter, making 11 of its last 12 shots and ended with a 3pt% of 66.7. Junior guard Kate Dennis would contribute a bulk of the threes throughout the game as she finished 3-4 from three with 11 points.

The second quarter continued trends for Ohio, keeping up with the hot shooting and new additions Kennedi Watkins and Monica Williams were unrelenting in attacking the basket. Williams finished the game with a team-leading 17 points without taking a three. She earned seven points from the foul line, showing her dominance down low. Ohio as a team shot 40 free throws against the Pioneers, showing the capabilities of its offense. That offensive attack was the key reason why Ohio entered halftime up 51-27. 

Marietta pounced coming out of the break, going on a solid run that brought the game back within 14 points early in the second half. The Bobcats didn’t let that run last for long though, and shortly after got back to their first-half selves.

“We didn't play very good third quarter, and we didn't let that consume us,” Head coach Bob Boldon said. "… I was really impressed with that, given the experience that we have. I thought they know themselves very well and gotten themselves kind of going in the right direction again”.

Ohio finished out the game strong, outsourcing Marietta 23–12 and securing the win in front of the home crowd for the first time this year with a score of 92-62.

In a game that was all about getting experience in an Ohio jersey for the newest faces, it was able to gel together and come out with a dominant win.

“It was super important for like our team just to feed off of each other and like, the energy on our team really transfers, and when we are always thinking we're all locked in and like we see really good results,” Williams said. 

Ohio will look to stay gelled as it enters the regular season play starting in 10 days with a road tilt against Appalachian State. 


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