ATHENS, Ohio - Freshman Kiyanna Black led all scorers with 21 points, but Ohio Women's Basketball was edged 65-61 by the visiting UMass Minutewomen on Thursday afternoon in The Convocation Center.
Black more than tripled her previous career high of six points, shooting 9-of-20 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. The freshman played a complete game, adding five assists and four steals to her offensive performance, both of which are new career highs.
Shavon Robinson recorded a career high in rebounds, collecting 12 on Thursday. She finished the day with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Rashida Timbilla led the way offensively for UMass, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Emily Mital, who scored 13 points and grabbed four boards.
Ohio (1-4) trailed for much of the game but stayed close with UMass (2-5) throughout the entire 40 minutes. The Bobcats matched up against a tall, tough defense which blocked 11 shots and held a 46-41 rebounding advantage.
The Bobcats shot 22-of-67 (32.8 percent) from the field, including a 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) mark from distance. Ohio experienced great success from the free-throw line, connecting on 14-of-15 attempts to shoot 93.3 percent.
UMass didn't experience significantly higher levels of success from the field, connecting on 24-of-62 attempts to end the day at 38.7 percent. Massachusetts did have a strong day from beyond the arc, however, shooting 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) from long range.
The teams battled through a defensive first half, as each shot 36 percent or below. The UMass defense hounded Ohio in the early going, forcing the Bobcats into 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Each team played well in the post, as both Ohio and UMass ended the first half with 16 points in the paint.
Black (Columbus, Ohio) had a strong first half for the Bobcats, achieving a career high in points just 17:39 into the opening period. The freshman would finish the first half with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting while also adding one assist and one steal. Robinson (Canton, Ohio) had a dominating first half on the glass, collecting seven rebounds in just the first 20 minutes of play. All seven of her rebounds came on the defensive end, limiting the second-chance opportunities afforded to the Minutewomen.
After taking a 31-27 advantage into the locker room, UMass opened the second half on a hot streak, scoring the first seven points of the frame to increase its advantage to 11. Ohio then came back with a quick 8-0 run of its own over the next 2:28 to pull within three at 38-35.
Black would eventually tie the game up at 42 apiece when she stole the ball from Emily Mital and drove the length of the court for a transition basket with 13:09 remaining in the game. Facing a three-point deficit with just under eight minutes to play, Ohio would endure a scoring drought of nearly five minutes, allowing UMass to stretch its lead to eight.
The `Cats got within one score (64-61) when Black hit a jumper with 24 seconds remaining, but the Minutewomen were able to see the game through to the finish from the free-throw line.
Ohio will next be in action on Sunday, Dec. 1 against Detroit. The Bobcats and Titans will tip off from The Convocation Center at 2 p.m. This will serve as the third contest of Ohio's five-game homestand which concludes on Dec. 9 against Morehead State.