The Ohio Bobcats ended their season at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a 75-61 loss to the Temple Owls in the Sweet Sixteen of the National Women’s Invitation Tournament. Ohio went 26-7 this season, the program’s third 25-win or better record in Ohio’s history.
The Bobcats had one lead in the whole game at 3-2 in the opening minutes, but as they racked up eight turnovers and senior guard Kiyanna Black found herself in foul trouble with three calls against her all in just the first quarter, it quickly disappeared and they weren’t able to recover from it. Ohio was struggling on all fronts, unable to hit a shot and having a hard time handling the ball. Black had just two points in the first half.
The Bobcats were down to the Owls by as many as 17 points and were out rebounded 44-32 as well. Ironically, the Owls didn’t get any help from their bench as the Bobcats outscored them 14-0, but it was the turnovers that really did the Bobcats in. Temple scored 16 points off of 15 Ohio turnovers and got things done in the paint. Even though Ohio looked like it might have a chance as it got within nine in the beginning of the third quarter, the team couldn’t get the momentum going.
Considering the end result wasn’t what the Bobcats had hoped for, coach Bob Boldon was proud of the team for staying in the game and continuing to play hard.
“It was a rough one for us,” Ohio coach Bob Boldon said following the game. “You know, we just couldn’t really get over that start, that was a rough start for us and it was a very good basketball team we played tonight.”
Junior guards Quiera Lampkins and Yamonie Jenkins carried most of the weight for the team in terms of points and assists. Lampkins led Ohio with 20 points and four assists while Jenkins followed with 12 and five. They were the only Bobcats to get in double-digits scoring. Junior forward Jasmine Weatherspoon got her 55th career block this game, third most in program history. Weatherspoon also led the tea with eight rebounds.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Boldon said. “To win the MAC regular season with the pressure they were under to compete every night took everybody’s best effort time in and time out, won I don’t know how many games in a row in the regular season, played a Big Ten school, an SEC school, an ACC school, played these guys here … I thought they played hard tonight.”
Black finished the game with a mere five points and didn’t make a single three-pointer. With 126 threes, she was just one 3-pointer away from tying the NCAA record for three-pointers made in a single season. That being said, Black still leads the program in career threes made with 321.
“She’s awesome … We’ll miss her, dearly, on both ends of the floor,” Boldon said of Black. “You know one of the most competitive players that I’ve ever coached in my life and one of the most caring players even though … she might be very tough on the outside, but she cares very much about her teammates and I think that sometimes not every one notices because she takes big shots, she just does things well.”