AKRON, Ohio - Ohio Women's Basketball dropped Tuesday's game against a tough Akron squad, falling by a final score of 71-65. Senior Tenishia Benson eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in the loss, scoring three more than the necessary 16 to reach the milestone. The `Cats were undone by a strong second half from Akron, during which the Zips outscored the Green and White by a 42-27 mark.
Benson led the way for the Bobcats, scoring 19 points in the contest. Shavon Robinson and Porsha Harris (Chicago, Ill.) joined her in double figures, adding 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sina King scored 16 points to lead the Zips and was one of four Akron student-athletes to score in double figures.
Ohio shot 23-of-62 (37.1 percent) from the field in the loss. The `Cats struggled from three-point distance, connecting on 2-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc. Akron, the Mid-American Conference's best shooting team, had a strong offensive performance, shooting 28-of-61 (45.9 percent) in the contest.
The Bobcats (11-15, 4-8 MAC) held a 24-18 edge in rebounds at the end of the first half but ultimately lost the battle of the boards by a narrow 38-37 margin. Much of the scoring came down low, as the Zips barely edged the Bobcats in the points-in-the-paint category, 41-40. Ohio collected an impressive 14 offensive rebounds, scoring 20 points on second-chance opportunities.
Akron (12-14, 6-6 MAC) got off to a fast start, scoring six of the first eight points to take an early 6-2 lead. King was effective right from the tip, scoring four points on 2-of-2 shooting. Robinson (Canton, Ohio) had a great start of her own for Ohio, scoring the first six Bobcat points to level the game at the 14:41 mark. Robinson's teammates followed her early cue, rattling off an 8-2 run to grab a 10-8 lead at the 12:56 mark.
With the score tied 13-13 just over nine minutes into the first half, Ohio ripped off a 13-6 run to take a 26-19 lead at the 5:20 mark. The `Cats kept up this strong play throughout the remainder of the period, leaping out to a 38-29 halftime advantage. Benson (Akron, Ohio) led all scorers with 14 points in the first 20 minutes, shooting 5-of-12 from the floor. The senior also grabbed a half-high six rebounds in the first frame.
Ohio shot 13-of-34 (38.2 percent) from the field in the first half and connected on 10-of-13 free throws. Akron shot at a strong clip as well, shooting 12-of-30 (40 percent). The Green and White bossed its way around in the paint, outscoring Akron 20-16 inside and holding a 24-18 edge in total rebounds. Ohio grabbed ten offensive rebounds in the first half alone.
Akron got off to a fast start in the second half, going on a 19-11 run to pull within one (49-48) at the 11:43 mark. King was instrumental in this run, scoring six early second-half points for the Zips. One of the biggest differences in the early portion of the second half was the frequency with which Akron got to the line. The Zips forced Ohio into multiple early fouls and had a number of chances from the charity stripe.
Ohio held its last lead of the game (54-53) when Harris scored a layup with 7:59 to play. The Zips stepped on the accelerator from this point onward, outscoring Ohio 18-11 during the final few minutes of play.
Benson reached and surpassed the 1,000-point mark with 1:14 to play, sinking two free throws to pull the `Cats within five at 67-62. The senior has now scored 1,003 points in her stellar career, 719 of which have come while playing for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Saturday, Feb. 18 when the Kent State Golden Flashes come to town. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be both Ohio's Senior Day and the 2012 Play 4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness game.