Jan. 10, 2013
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University women's basketball team (5-8, 0-1 MAC) dropped an 81-54 decision to the University of Akron (10-4, 1-0 MAC) in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams Thursday night in the Convocation Center.
Ohio led 16-15 with 11:59 to go in the first half, but Akron used a 31-6 run to close the half and build a 46-22 lead it would not relinquish.
Junior guard Erin Bailes (Huntington, W.Va.) paced the `Cats with 10 points while senior forward Tina Fisher (Cottage Grove, Minn.) just missed a double-double with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Mariah Byard (Mannington, W. Va.) dished out a career-high five assists and added six points in 27 minutes of action.
Ohio received at least eight points from four different scorers, but could not overcome a 31.7 percent shooting effort (20-63) and 20 turnovers that led to 19 Akron points.
The Zips held a 45-40 edge on the glass and a 42-20 advantage in points in the paint. Akron junior Rachel Tecca posted a double-double to lead the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Akron jumped out to a 9-4 lead before the `Cats used a 10-4 run - capped by a Byard 3-pointer - to take a 14-13 lead with 13:29 to play in the first half.
With Ohio holding a 16-15 edge, the Zips used a 7-0 run to move back in front by six (22-16) and Akron built its advantage to 10 (28-18) on the third 3-pointer of the half by Taylor Ruper. In all, the Zips used a 17-2 run to take a 32-18 lead with 4:26 remaining in the half. After a fast-break lay-in by freshman guard Kiyanna Black (Columbus, Ohio) moved the `Cats within 12, the Zips closed the half on a 14-2 run and entered the break with a 46-22 lead. Akron outscored the `Cats 31-6 over the half's final 12 minutes.
Ohio shot 50 percent from the floor (7-14) in the game's first nine minutes, but missed 18 of its next 21 shots to end the half with a 31.3 percent (10-32) field goal percentage. Akron made 53.3 percent (16-30) of its shots from the floor and used a 22-17 rebounding edge to grab a 7-0 edge in second-chance points. Black led the Green and White with nine points in the first half.
The Zips extended their lead to 53-24 four minutes into the second half, but back-to-back triples by Byard and Bailes moved the `Cats back within 25 at 57-32. With 9:26 to play, Ohio cut the Akron lead to 22 (63-41) on a jumper by senior guard Symone Lyles (Silver Spring, Md.) but the `Cats could not move closer than that for the remainder of the contest.
Ohio returns to action on Sunday (Jan. 13) with a 2 p.m. contest at Buffalo.