HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Erin Bailes scored a game-high 18 points in her Huntington homecoming to lead Ohio Women’s Basketball past the Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday afternoon, 55-48. The win was Ohio’s third in a row and is team’s fifth consecutive win over Marshall.
Saturday’s victory over Marshall marked Ohio’s first three-game winning streak since Nov. 19-26 of last season, a stretch during which the Bobcats defeated Marshall, Belmont, and Chicago State within the friendly confines of The Convocation Center. The road victory was the first Ohio has won away from home since Jan. 28 of last season at Western Michigan.
Bailes scored her 18 points on very efficient 6-of-11 shooting from the field. All six of her made field goals were three-pointers, as she connected on 6-of-8 shots from distance, a career high. Bailes contributed in all aspects of the game, tying for a team high with six rebounds while also collecting two steals, making two blocks, and dishing out one assist.
Kiyanna Black joined Bailes in double figures, scoring 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Saturday’s game marked the fifth straight contest in which she has scored 13 points or more.
As a team, Ohio (4-5) shot 20-of-59 from the field (33.9 percent), including an 8-of-21 mark (38.1 percent) from three-point range. The ‘Cats played strong defense, however, and were able to limit Marshall to just 36.5 percent shooting from the field, the second lowest mark they’ve allowed their opposition to shoot this season.
The beginning of the game was all about the stellar play of one student-athlete from each team. Marshall’s Chukwuka Ezeigbo hit her first five field goal attempts to score ten early points. For Ohio, freshman Kiyanna Black (Columbus, Ohio) matched her hot start, scoring 10 points in the first few minutes of the contest as well. Similar to the play she made in overtime against Morehead State, Black took a big charge early on in the game when Marshall’s Orlandia Williams came driving hard down the lane.
Ohio claimed its first lead of the game with 26 seconds remaining in the first half when Bailes drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 24-22. Suporia Dickens was able to get down low and sink a layup just before the buzzer, knotting the contest up at 24 apiece headed into halftime.
Ohio shot 30 percent from the field in the first half, connecting on 9-of-30 field goal attempts. The Bobcats went a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line and shot 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc in the first frame. Black led all scorers in the first 20 minutes, scoring 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
The teams were tied in rebounds with 18 apiece, but Ohio forced Marshall (5-5) into nine turnovers while only committing six of its own.
Bailes caught fire in the second half, hitting five of her seven attempted three-pointers to score 15 points in the final 20 minutes. She also collected all six of her rebounds in the second half.
The ‘Cats controlled much of the second frame, only trailing on two occasions. Marshall took a temporary two-point lead 26 seconds into the second period on a Norrisha Victrum jump shot and the Thundering Herd would then reclaim a one-point advantage with 5:41 to play when Veronica Ruiz completed an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 42-41.
Ohio would then proceed to score 14 of the game’s final 20 points to earn the victory.
Ohio will next be in action on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at Manhattan. The Bobcats and Jaspers will tip off at 7 p.m. This will serve as the first action in a two-game road trip to New York City for Ohio.