Ohio is as good as advertised.
The first-place Bobcats made a Mid-American Conference record 17 three-point shots on their way to a 93-54 victory over Kent State Wednesday.
Ohio is 14-3 on the season, 6-0 in the MAC, and ranked ninth in the latest Mid Major Poll. It has won nine straight gameKent State is 3-12, 0-6 in the MAC, and has lost nine straight.
Ohio’s three-point barrage wasn’t terribly surprising; it was just bigger than usual. Ohio is eighth in the country in three-point shots attempted (30 per game) and ninth in three-point shots made (9 per game).
Tuesday they made 17 of 37 or 45 percent, which is 8 percentage points above their average. Ohio took more three-point shots (37) than two-point shots (30). It made 17 of each.
It wasn’t Ohio star Kiyanna Black leading the way. It was her mate at wing, Leixe Baldwin, who made 4 of 7 in the first half. She had 19 points for the game, 16 in the first half. Black, who is the conference’s leading three-point scorer, had 16 points and three three-pointers.
“Our players had a good idea of what to do,” coach Danny O’Banion said. “But they seemed very uncomfortable at really going after the three-point shooter. They were afraid of drives and passes inside. But you have to commit.”
Just as much damage was done by Ohio post player Jasmine Weatherspoon, who had 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. She did get the ball
The buried statistic that also cost KSU the game was that Kent State had 25 turnovers that led to 48 Ohio points. The Bobcats had 20 fast-break points, most on those turnovers. Some of the turnovers came on 12 Ohio steals; many others came on bad passing in their half-court offense.
When it kept the ball, Kent State’s offense could look decent. The Flashes made their first four shots of the game and scored 20 points in the first quarter.
But Ohio made 5 of 9 three-pointers in the quarter and scored 27.
Kent was led by forward Jordan Korinek, who had 14 points, and wing Tyra James, who had 12.
- The game saw junior Larissa Lurken — almost entirely a wing or a shooting guard in her career at KSU — play some point guard. The Flashes have gotten very little point production out of their back-up points this season. Lurken,though, was 1 of 10 from the field and scored just three points. She had three assists and two turnovers. She is Kent’s second-leading scorer at 14 points per game.
- Junior college transfer Keziah Lewis seems to have moved firmly into Kent’s rotation. She played 18 minutes and scored three points on 1 of 5 shooting. Lewis was a big scorer in junior college.
- Freshman Alexa Golden, who played just three minutes in Saturday’s loss to Eastern Michigan, played 17 and scored four points.
- Kent State outrebounded Ohio, 41-36. James led the team with eight. Korinek, Golden, reserve forward Chelsi Watson and 6-4 freshman Merissa Barber-Smith all had five. Barber-Smith’s came in just four minutes.
- Ohio passed very crisply against Kent’s match-up zone and had 26 assists on 34 baskets. KSU had 11 assists on 18 baskets.
- Sophomore forward McKenna Stephens had 9 points on 4 of 7 shooting, including three jumpers from the foul line. “That’s her shot,” O’Banion said, “and her teammates are getting her the ball.”
- KSU shot just 25.9 percent in the second half and finished at 33.3, about 6 points below its average.
KSU plays at Bowling Green Saturday as part of a double header with a KSU-BG men’s game. “They’re another three-point shooting team,” O’Banion said. “We have another chance to make our defense work.”
BG is 6-9 and 2-4 in the MAC after beating Northern Illinois on the road 58-43 Wednesday.
Other MAC scores:
- Akron (10-7, 4-2) 81, Toledo (9-8, 4-2) 71, at Akron.
- Western Michigan (12-6, 4-2) 92, Buffalo (10-7, 2-4) 78, at Buffalo.
- Central Michigan (10-7, 4-2) 72, Miami (7-10, 1-5) 58, at Miami.
- Ball State (13-4, 5-1) 76, Eastern Michigan (12-5, 3-3) 54, at Ball State.
- Bowling Green (6-9, 2-4) 58, Northern Illinois (8-9, 1-5) 43, at Northern.