Nov. 13, 2011
MOREHEAD, Ky. – Ohio Women’s Basketball opened the 2011-12 season with a close loss at Morehead State on Sunday afternoon. The game was a back-and-forth affair that came down to the wire, with the Eagles claiming a 62-57 edge in the end.
The Bobcats were led in scoring by 18 points from Tenishia Benson. Erin Bailes was not far behind, adding 12 of her own. Bailes (Huntington, W.Va.) had a huge second half, scoring 10 of her 12 points in the second frame to lead Ohio’s late surge.
Ohio hit the glass hard on Sunday, out-rebounding Morehead State by a relatively significant margin of 12 (42-30). The Bobcats gathered more offensive rebounds (18) than the Eagles collected on the defensive glass (16).
Sunday’s contest got off to a fast start, with the Eagles leaping out to an early 6-5 lead. Morehead State opened up its lead in the middle stages of the half, at one time holding a nine-point advantage. Instrumental in this effort was very solid play by the Eagles’ Courtney Lumpkin, who scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes. Benson had a solid half as well, scoring ten points on three-of-six shooting. The senior guard was aggressive with the ball, getting to the line for six free throws.
Facing a 34-28 deficit at the end of the half, Ohio ripped off a 14-2 run to begin the second. Porsha Harris (Chicago, Ill.) began the run by knocking down two free throws, Bailes added two three pointers and a couple of free throws and Kat Yelle and Alesia Howard (Columbus, Ohio) got in on the act, each adding a basket during the spell.
In addition to starting the second half at such a quick pace, the Bobcats clamped down defensively. Morehead State shot 45.2 percent from the field in the first half but Ohio only allowed the hosts to connect on 24 percent of their second-half field goals.
Morehead State refused to give up and methodically worked its way back by driving low and getting to the free-throw line. The Eagles took very good advantage of their opportunities at the charity stripe on Sunday, connecting on 14 of 16 to shoot 87.5 percent.
Facing a five-point deficit late in the half, Yelle (Geneva, Ill.) stepped up in a big way. The freshman guard battled hard for a few rebounds and added three points to the cause in the waning moments. Benson added a big lay-up to pull the ‘Cats within one, but this was as close as they’d come.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Nov. 19 when they host the Marshall Thundering Herd to begin a four-game home stand. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.