KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Ohio Women's Basketball ended its trip to Michigan on a high note Saturday, beating the Western Michigan Broncos by a final score of 72-59. Ohio's terrific shooting from the field was matched by a strong defensive performance, which at one point held the Broncos without a field goal for 10:37. The Bobcats also forced the hosts into 35 turnovers.
Ohio (10-12, 3-5 Mid-American Conference) used a 44-point first-half outburst--its highest single-half total of the season--to take control of the game early and cruised its way through the second half en route to claiming its tenth victory of the season. Ten victories marks the highest number of wins achieved since the 2008-09 campaign.
Ohio shot 18-of-20 from the free-throw line, connecting on 90 percent of its attempts. The Bobcats dominated the points off turnovers category, outscoring WMU 37-9 in this facet of the game.
Maria Iaquaniello had a very good game for Western Michigan, leading the team with 22 points and nine rebounds. Julia Henson (16 points) and Rachel Adaline (11) also scored in double figures.
The Bobcats got off to a strong start, connecting on seven of their first 13 field goal attempts to take an early 14-8 lead. Robinson, Symone Lyles (Silver Spring, Md.) and Alesia Howard were all instrumental in the early going, each scoring four points in the first ten minutes. Both defenses played strong as well, as the teams combined for 12 turnovers during this time period.
Western (5-16, 2-6 MAC) got back into in the middle stages of the first half, pulling within five points at 16-11. Ohio then ripped off a 28-9 run to take a commanding 44-20 halftime lead. The Bobcats played incredible defense in the first half, only allowing the Broncos to shoot 30.8 percent from the field (8-of-26) and didn't allow Western to score a field goal in the final 7:37 of the half. Robinson (Canton, Ohio) led all scorers in the period, scoring ten points on 4-of-7 shooting. Not far behind her were Lyles (nine points) and Benson (eight).
The Bobcats shot an incredible 68 percent from the field in the first frame, connecting on 17 of their 25 field goals. Lyles was a perfect 3-for-3, a figure which included a 1-for-1 mark from beyond the arc.
Ohio forced the Broncos into 18 first-half turnovers, turning these miscues into 24 points. The Bobcats did have a little difficulty finding an answer for Iaquaniello, who scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in the first half.
Western picked up the tempo in the second half, thanks in large part to the strong play of Iaquaniello. The senior guard scored eight quick points in the first ten minutes of the half, keeping her team in the game. An 8-0 run in the late stages of the game pulled the Broncos within 12 points with just over three minutes to play, but the Bobcats were able to close things out from the free-throw line.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Wednesday, Feb. 1 when Eastern Michigan comes to Athens. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Eagles is set for 7 p.m.