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Bobcats Set to Face Chippewas in MAC Second Round

Ashley Fowler surpassed 500 career points in Ohio's first-round win over Kent State

March 6, 2012

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ATHENS, Ohio – On the heels of an impressive 58-40 win over Kent State in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, Ohio Women’s Basketball prepares for the second round on Wednesday. The Bobcats will meet up with the No. 5 seed Central Michigan Chippewas at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland with tip-off scheduled for noon. The game will broadcast live on mac-sports.com with a radio broadcast available on OhioBobcats.com and WOUB-AM 1340.

In their last game out, the Bobcats faced an early 3-0 deficit against the Golden Flashes before ripping off a 34-5 run to end the first half. Ohio held Kent State without a field goal during one point in the first half for eight minutes, relying on a strong defensive effort which would ultimately force 23 Golden Flash turnovers. Tenishia Benson (Akron, Ohio) led the way for the Bobcats, scoring 14 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. The senior was only two points away from a double-double in the first half alone.

Be the 460th win in program history
Be the 17th MAC Tournament win in program history
Be the 45th win of head coach Semeka Randall’s career
Give the Bobcats 15 wins for the first time since the 2007-08 season
Break a five-game losing streak to Central Michigan
Advance the Bobcats to the MAC Quarterfinals for the first time since the 2008-09 season

Central Michigan enters Wednesday’s contest the owner of a 17-14 record which includes an 8-8 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The Chippewas are currently on a four-game winning streak and most recently dispatched the Ball State Cardinals 86-62 in the first round of the 2012 MAC Tourna­ment.

The Chippewas are led in scoring by All-Freshman Team member Crystal Bradford’s 13.3 points per game. She is closely followed by Jessica Green, who can be counted upon for 11.7 points per contest. CMU’s offense hums along at a clip of 71.5 points per game, good enough for second in the MAC.

Wednesday’s game will be the 56th all-time meeting between Ohio and Central Michigan. The Chippewas hold a 28-27 advantage in the series which has its roots in the 1980-81 season.

Central Michigan has won the last five games in the series, including a Jan. 25 meeting this season in which the Bobcats fell by a final score of 67-53 in Mt. Pleasant. CMU shot 43.8 percent from the field in this game while limiting the Bobcats to 29.3 percent. Ohio rebounded well in the game, collecting 15 offensive boards to score 14 second-chance points.

Tenishia Benson was named to the All-MAC First Team on March 6. The senior is joined on the squad by Alexis Rogers (Bowling Green), Brittany Hedderson (Buffalo), Tavelyn James (Eastern Michigan) and Courtney Osborn (Miami).

Benson’s honor marks the first time a Bobcat has been named to the conference’s First Team since Lauren Kohn earned the recognition in 2008.

If Ohio is to defeat Central Michigan in second-round MAC Tournament action on Wednesday, the Bobcats will face off against No. 4 seed Miami in the quarter­final round. This game would take place on Thursday at 12 p.m.

Ohio’s win over Kent State in the first round of the MAC Tourna­ment on March 3 was the 12th home victory of the season for the Bobcats. Twelve home wins is the highest single-season total since the 1985-86 campaign.

Ohio’s solid free-throw shooting stacks up well amongst fellow NCAA Division One basketball programs. As of games played March 4, Ohio’s free throw shooting percentage (74.0) ranks 40th of 336 schools.

Ohio’s 2011-12 season has been one of the best defensive years in program history. With at least one game remaining to play, the Bobcats have collected 312 steals, a mark which ranks second all-time in Ohio Women’s Basketball history. The top mark (350) was set during the 2004-05 season.

The Bobcats have connected on 140 three-point field goals during the 2011-12 season. This single-season total is currently tied for ninth all-time in program history.

One of the biggest factors of Ohio’s success in 2011-12 has been getting to the free-throw line. The Bobcats have made 402 free throws this season, a mark which currently ranks ninth in program history.

Ohio is only allowing opponents to shoot 29.7 percent from three-point distance during the 2011-12 season. This mark ranks third in the Mid-American Conference.