Nov. 23, 2013
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RICHMOND, Ky. -- The Ohio University women's basketball team (3-1) jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead and held on to edge Eastern Kentucky University (3-3), 60-52, on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.
The Bobcats are off to their best start since opening the 2006-07 campaign with a 5-0 mark.
"It feels good to win," said first-year head coach Bob Boldon. "We want to create a culture of kids who want to win. That's our ultimate goal. Along with that, we want to try and get better. It's a lot more fun to try and get better while you win than while you're losing."
Sophomore guard Kiyanna Black (Columbus, Ohio) came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points, marking the second time this season she has hit double figures and 22nd time in her career. She went 4-for-9 from behind the arc.
Black, who scored a career-high 35 points and hit eight threes in the 94-88 season-opening triumph over Xavier on Nov. 10 at the Convocation Center in Athens, shrugged off two tough shooting performances at Morehead State and at Louisville to come up with several clutch shots at Eastern Kentucky.
None of Black's treys were bigger than the one she knocked down with 2:26 to play, which put an end to a 16-8 run by the Lady Colonels and increased Ohio's lead to 56-50.
"She hit some real big shots for us down the stretch," said Boldon. "Kiyanna's a tough kid. She's the first one in the gym working on her shot. She got out here early today and worked on her shot. That's just what it takes. It takes a lot of work to be good. She's put in that work, and I couldn't be happier."
Freshman guard Quiera Lampkins (Gahanna, Ohio) and redshirt sophomore guard Kat Yelle (Geneva, Ill.) each knocked down two free throws after being intentionally fouled to seal the victory for the Bobcats.
Yelle finished with a career-high 11 points. She also tallied a team-high four assists to match her career high.
Junior guard Mariah Byard (Mannington, W. Va.) scored nine points - including two treys - and hauled in a career-high six rebounds.
Freshman forward Hannah Boesinger (Hudson, Ohio) tallied a career-high nine points.
Sophomore forward Lexie Baldwin (Hattiesburg, Miss.) pulled down a team-high seven boards and matched her career high with three blocks.
Ohio jumped out of the gate to a 16-5 advantage with 11:39 remaining in the first half, thanks in large part to two threes by Byard, a jumper by freshman forward Jasmine Weatherspoon (Columbus, Ohio), a jumper by Black and a layup by Boesinger.
Eastern Kentucky cut Ohio's lead to four with just over nine minutes to play in the half, but the Bobcats closed the first 20 minutes of action on a 16-10 run, highlighted by threes by Black and Boesinger, a jumper by Black and a layup by freshman forward Destini Cooper (Reynoldsburg, Ohio).
That sent the Bobcats into halftime holding a 32-22 lead, as Ohio took advantage of 14 first-half turnovers by the Lady Colonels.
Eastern Kentucky did not back down, though, shaving Ohio's lead to five with just over 15 minutes to play.
The Bobcats built their advantage back up to 12 points with just over nine minutes to go courtesy of threes by Cooper and Black, a jumper by Black and a layup-and-one conversion by Yelle.
That's as large of a cushion as Ohio enjoyed though, as the Lady Colonels cut it down to three with just over two minutes left.
Fortunately for the Bobcats, Black's three and the freebies by Lampkins and Yelle were enough to survive the Eastern Kentucky comeback.
Ohio's six-game stretch away from Athens continues with a Thanksgiving break trip to Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout. Ohio will face UIC on Nov. 29 before squaring off with No. 8 Maryland the following day.