KENT, Ohio – Heading into Wednesday’s game at Kent State, junior guard Erin Bailes needed just two points to achieve 500 in her career. The native of Huntington, W.Va., exceeded this mark by quite a bit, scoring a career-high 24 to lead the Bobcats to their first win in Mid-American Conference play, a 61-55 victory over the Golden Flashes.
Bailes was one of two Bobcats to achieve a career-high in points on Wednesday (Symone Lyles – 15) and one of three to score in double figures (Shavon Robinson – 12). Combined, these three Bobcats shot 17-32 from the field and 9-14 from distance. Ohio (6-18, 1-11 MAC) ended the day hitting 20-44 (45.4 percent) attempts from the field in the victory, its second-best percentage of the 2012-13 season. The Bobcats went 9-19 (47.4 percent) from three-point distance, including an impressive 7-10 mark in the second half.
Kent State leapt out to an early 11-10 lead at the second media timeout (11:07) thanks to four early points from Tamzin Barroilhet. The ‘Cats shot a solid 50 percent from the field during the opening minutes, hitting five of their 10 attempts as five different Bobcats found the score sheet early.
Facing a 13-10 deficit, Ohio tied things up when Bailes hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. The field goal put the junior over 500 points for her impressive Bobcat career, giving her 501 at the 9:13 mark.
In a first half which featured seven ties and three lead changes, Ohio ended the frame on a 4-0 run to take a 24-21 lead into the halftime break. The Bobcats did not allow a Kent State field goal for the final 4:08 of the first half, and scored four points in the final 46 seconds to earn the three-point advantage.
Ohio shot a solid 41.7 percent (10-24) in the first half. Bailes and Lyles (Silver Spring, Md.) were exceptionally efficient from the field, shooting 3-5 and 2-3, respectively. The Bobcats boxed out well in the first frame, collecting 15 defensive rebounds while allowing a mere two offensive boards for the Golden Flashes.
The Bobcats began the second half on fire, starting on an 8-2 run to take their largest lead of the game to that point, 32-23. This early strong play forced the Golden Flashes to call a timeout at the 17:16 mark. Ohio eventually stretched its lead to as many as 13 points (48-35) when Bailes hit two free throws at the 7:11 mark.
Ohio entered the final media timeout (3:45) with a 10-point advantage, leading 50-40. To this point, Ohio was shooting 50 percent (9-18) from the field in the second half, a figure which included a 6-9 (66.7 percent) mark from three-point distance.
Kent State (3-22, 1-11 MAC) scored 15 of the game’s final 26 points, pulling within as close as five points (60-55) when Ashley Evans scored a layup with five seconds to play.
Ohio will next be in action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at home against Buffalo. The Bobcats will host the Bulls at 2 p.m. in a game which will serve as Senior Day and the annual Play4Kay Pink Game.