Nov. 8, 2012
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ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Women's Basketball played its lone exhibition contest this evening, earning a hard-fought victory over Wheeling Jesuit in overtime, 76-74. Freshman Lexie Baldwin scored the last of her 11 points on a layup with six seconds remaining to win the game for the `Cats.
Mariah Byard led Ohio with 17 points and four assists while Tina Fisher chipped in with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Symone Lyles led the Green and White with 11 rebounds and finished with seven points. Baldwin tallied six rebounds in her collegiate debut.
Ohio shot only 37 percent for the game and Wheeling Jesuit got back in the game during a second half where it shot 58 percent. The Bobcats won this game at the free-throw line (20-6) and from points off turnovers (27-9).
The Bobcats scored the first 10 points of the game until Wheeling Jesuit got on the board with a three-pointer from the wing. WJU got within a possession on a layup from Taneka Lewis but consecutive threes from Byard and Olivia McCuskey pushed the lead back to nine at 18-9 with 10:23 remaining in the half.
The success from outside continued as Fowler and Byard knocked down consecutive triples and nudged the advantage to double figures at 24-13. A Breanna Butler three-pointer cut the Ohio lead to eight but the `Cats went on a 6-0 run to make the score 30-16 at 5:32 on the clock.
The Cardinals were able to stay within striking distance as the half came to a close with a 7-0 run over the final 2:42. Byard led the `Cats with eight points, going 2-for-4 from distance. Lyles was also impressive for Ohio with four points and six rebounds. In total, all eight players that saw the court in the first 20 minutes scored for Ohio.
The teams traded baskets to start the second half until WJU scored on four of five possessions to cut Ohio's lead to 48-43 on a trifecta by Butler with 12:19 to go in the second half. Eventually, Kelsey Pacholke scored on a layup that made it a one possession game for the first time since 12-9.
The Bobcats would not relinquish the lead as they went almost five minutes without a field goal and the Cardinals closed the gap to one. After a bucket by Byard broke the drought, Emily Robinson knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to tie the score, 55-55 with 7:13 remaining in the half.
After free throws by Butler gave WJU its first lead of the game at 57-55, Ohio converted one of two at the line, Kiyanna Black hit a pull-up bank shot and Baldwin earned a layup to go ahead 60-57. After the Cardinals' Lewis fouled out, Lyles made one of two at the stripe to push the lead to four.
WJU converted an and-1 opportunity to cut the deficit to one and then a reverse layup from Jaila Bryant gave the Cardinals the lead once more with 2:26 showing on the clock.
The Bobcat response was a jumper from Byard to go back in front 63-62. The sophomore then drilled a cold-blooded three-ball from the wing to push it to a two-possession game with 1:22 to play in the period.
A layup by the visitors made things interesting once more at 66-64 and after an Ohio turnover, WJU had a chance for the win. With 13 seconds left, the Cardinals took a timeout and out of the huddle missed a three-point try. Despite the Bobcat efforts, WJU rebounded the ball and tied the score to force overtime.
Ohio scored on its first three possessions of the overtime period and took a 72-69 lead, but Pacholke converted another and-one opportunity to knot the score at 74 with 40 seconds to play.
After a WJU miss, Ohio steamed down the court and Byard found Baldwin for the game-winning layup with six seconds to play. The Cardinals missed a three-pointer that could have won the game as the buzzer sounded.
The Bobcats begin regular-season play on Tuesday evening at home vs. Cleveland State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.