By Pete Nakos
OhioBobcats.com Feature Writer
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio coach Bob Boldon had plans Saturday nightâhe wanted to take his wife out to dinner. Now, he will have to prepare a game plan for Mondayâs round one of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which the Bobcats will host.
âI came to terms that we weren't going to have a bye about a week and a half ago,â Boldon said. âI was going to take my wife out to dinner, weâll stay in I guess and get ready for a game on Monday.â
Heading into Wednesday nightâs game, Ohio beat Bowling Green 79-68, but Kent State beat Miami 78-51, eliminating the Bobcatsâ chances of a first round bye.
Ohio handed out the itinerary for Mondayâs game over a week ago, the loss to Kent State sealed the deal in Boldonâs eyes.
As he put it, his team, unlike the past two years, didn't win the Mid-American Conference regular season outright. That would have clinched the No. 1 seed in the tournament along with a bye.
No, Boldon said his team had the chance to win the conference outright. Instead, the Bobcats will have to try their best to win the tournament.
For the first time since year one at Ohio for Boldon, he will have to play a home game just to make the quarterfinals.
And Ohio is OK with that, itâll just have to play an extra game in its quest for a NCAA Tournament berth.
âOur defense has been average to good,â Boldon said. âItâs not good enough that we can rely on it. Weâre going to have to score points to win in the tournament.
His hope of scoring points will be produced from guard Quiera Lampkins, who had 23 points against Bowling Green.
Lampkins, a senior, is helps facilitate the Bobcat offense whether it be by her scoring or ability to attract multiple defenders, which gives her teammates an opportunity to score.
âI told the team let's pick it up and get excited,â she said of the offensive production. âI drove more and did what I was capable of doing. Basically, it was all about getting the team on the same page.â
With Senior Day on Saturday against Akron and a MAC Tournament game in The Convo on Monday, Lampkins is left to make the most of the time she has left as a Bobcat.
She believes that the Bobcats made their own bed, which they have to deal with the cards they dealt to themselves.
Anyone can win the tournament, as was proved in 2015 when the Bobcats won. Now, two seasons later, Lampkins and Boldon will hope to get back to the winner's podium in Cleveland.
âWe are not going to run a better offense or run new plays,â Boldon said. âWe are stuck with what we have and we are going to use that and play as best as we can and see where that takes us in the tournament.â