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Laylay Fantroy (2) shoots a free throw at the OHIO Womens Basketball vs. Miami Basketball at the Convo. in Athens, Ohio. Jan. 27, 2024.

Women’s Basketball: Ohio extends winning streak to 3 against rival Miami

Ohio (7-11, 4-4 Mid-American Conference) kept its winning streak alive against its rival, Miami (4-14, 2-6 MAC), in the Battle of the Bricks by a score of 71-55. The Bobcats never saw a deficit in its dominant victory. 

Ohio and Miami are longtime rivals and have been facing off against one another since 1975. The rooted history between the two teams usually calls for a hard-fought and physical game on the defensive side of the ball, and Saturday’s matchup was no different. Ohio opened the game with a block out of bounds from Bengisu Alper on its first defensive possession. Following the inbound, Monica Williams used her quick hands to grab a steal and find a streaking Bailey Tabeling down the court to open the game’s scoring with an easy transition score. 

The remainder of the quarter was played with intense, swarming defense by both sides, forcing turnovers and shot-clock violations. It was the first quarter that also saw Miami show many of the various defensive schemes they would use throughout the game, such as a 1-3-1 zone, as well as both a man and zone press. It took Ohio some time to adjust to Miami’s defense, and the quarter ended as a low-scoring 10-minute affair with Ohio up 16-11.  

The start to the second quarter was not ideal for the Bobcats, as the Redhawk defense schemes clogged passing lanes and made life difficult on offense for Ohio. Right as Miami began to string together a run, Ohio’s players stepped up in a big way, specifically sophomore guard Madi Mace.

“I thought Madi Mace, in particular, brought a ton of energy when she came in the game off the bench,” said Ohio Coach Bob Boldon. “I thought her teammates matched that energy.”

Mace was fantastic in the second quarter, scoring 15 points in only 7 minutes on the court. Those 15 points also came at a very efficient rate as she shot 5-6 from the field and 4-4 from the line in the second frame of action. Her efforts were a key reason that Ohio went into the break leading 36-20. 

Similar to the second quarter, the third quarter was taken over by a Bobcat; this time, it was first-time starter Bailey Tabeling. Usually one of the first to come off the bench, Tabeling started both the first and second halves and her impact was immediately apparent.

“I think being one of the first people to come off the bench normally gives me an energy,” said Tabeling. “So being able to start with the energy, I feel like that also helped us.”

Tabeling was perfect in the third, scoring 10 out of her 20 total points in the third frame on 100% shooting from the field.

Ohio’s tough defense held Miami’s shooting in check once again, but it was the free throws that helped it stay in the game, going to the line five times in the third and knocking down every free throw. 

The fourth quarter saw Ohio playing to protect its lead, taking its time on possessions and finding ways to get to the free-throw line for easy points. The Bobcat defense stayed pristine as well, not allowing the Redhawks to find a groove shooting the ball and not allowing the offense to mount a comeback.

Ohio stepped up the physicality in a game where 34 total fouls were called, and in the end, it was the main reason they were able to escape with win number seven on the season.

“You can either accept it or you can complain about it,” said Boldon. “They did a great job of accepting it and playing within those parameters.” 


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