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Jaya McClure (0) drives towards the basket to help the Bobcats take the lead against the Kent State Eagles, Feb. 21, 2024, at The Convo in Athens. McClure ended the night with 26 points overall. The final score was 79-77.

Women’s Basketball: Ohio's matchup with Western Michigan has major tournament implications

Ohio (8-17 overall, 5-9 Mid-American Conference) returns home following a loss on the road to Buffalo. Every game during the rest of the season is of the utmost importance for the Bobcats as they continue to fight to hold the final spot in the MAC tournament. 

Sitting just one spot above ninth place Miami, Ohio needs to take advantage of its two remaining games at The Convo, and with Wednesday night’s game against Western Michigan (12-13, 7-7 MAC) being one of them, here is everything you need to know about the opposing team.

Game Information:

Opponent: Western Michigan

Location: The Convocation Center (Athens, Ohio)

Time: 7 p.m. on Wednesday

Where to Watch: ESPN+

Follow live stats here

Meet the Opponent

Head Coach: Shane Clipfell (12th season)

Projected Starters

#03 Hannah Spitzley

#10 Gabi Saxman

#21 Jasmine Elder

#22 Kaitlyn Zarycki

#33 Nile Maguria Orbe 

Statistical Leaders

Points: Zarycki (18.8 per game)

Rebounds: Zarycki (4.9 per game)

Assists: Zarycki (3.5 per game)

Steals: Zarycki (2.1 per game)

Blocks: Spitzley (.5 per game)

Field Goal Percentage:  Zarycki (52%)

Three-Point Percentage: Zarycki (46%)

Free Throw Percentage: Zarycki (89%)

Western Michigan Notes

The Broncos are sitting firmly in the sixth seed for the MAC tournament, and they have reached that seeding thanks to a two-game win streak at home in Kalamazoo. Ohio lost to Western Michigan the first time the two teams faced off, but with the second game of the season series being played in Athens, Ohio has a good chance to knock off a conference opponent in a big game. 

The Western Michigan offense relies heavily on graduate student Kaitlyn Zarycki to both score the ball and create scoring opportunities for her teammates. Zarycki, the second-leading scorer in the MAC, will have to carry a large load of the offense again when facing a defensively talented Ohio team.

Player to Watch: Kaitlyn Zarycki

As shown by the statistical leaders for Western Michigan, Zarycki will be hard to stop. She leads the Broncos in every category except blocks per game, where she records 0.4 bpg compared to Hannah Spitzley’s 0.5 bpg. 

Zarycki is also on the cusp of rarified air for any basketball player, just needing to increase her free throw percentage from 89% to 90% to reach the 50-40-90 club at the end of the season, an achievement attained by shooting 50% from the field, 40% from three and 90% from the line throughout a season. 


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