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Women's Basketball: Bobcats hope to amend losing streak
With a fresh starting line-up and in-game approach, Ohio will look to turn the page tonight against Eastern Kentucky and record its first win since the season-opener, after losing five straight games.
On paper, the Bobcats (1-5) and Colonels are very similar, with each team shooting less than 40 percent, scoring less than 60 points per game and turning the ball over at least 17 times.
However, Eastern Kentucky’s (5-3) RPI is almost half of Ohio’s, having already played Louisville and Florida State, which are ranked both in this week’s AP poll.
“It’s very important to stop this losing streak,” coach Semeka Randall said. “It will help our confidence, make us feel better about one another and help us not to think the worst. It would be great to get a win, because we can start to put things back in perspective and get things rolling.”
Senior center Jade Barber, who is averaging a double-double, leads the Colonels in both points and rebounds, while senior guard Brittany Coles is also averaging more than 10 points, along with five rebounds and three assists per game.
The duo has been forced to fill the void of junior guard Marie Carpenter, who broke her hand in the team’s season opener, which she scored 27 points against Miami. Randall hinted at Carpenter’s return to play against the Bobcats but her status is uncertain.
Although Ohio has more players at least six-feet tall, Eastern Kentucky is averaging two rebounds per game more than its opponents and seven more than the Bobcats.
“It’s going to be a conscious effort to box out and always have a body on somebody,” said Randall. “Knowing they have shot blockers, we’ll have to make sure to keep putting pump fakes while going through the lane.”
Bench play has carried the Ohio offense in each of the past two games, as freshman guard Kiyanna Black and junior guard Erin Bailes have been the team’s leading scorers.
“I think the bench is very important to this team,” said Bailes. “We need to bring energy off the bench when people are going through tough times; we need to be able to have their back.”
Randall said following Sunday’s loss to Detroit — in which the starting rotation scored just 10 points — that changes were to come, but she has yet to make a final decision on the new lineup.
The Colonels lead the all-time series 3-1, but the two teams have not met since the 1987-88 campaign. Eastern Kentucky has also already defeated a pair of Mid-American Conference East teams this season, in Miami and Kent State.
“We need to continue to focus one game at a time, like always, and just try to get a win,” said Bailes.
Who: Ohio (1-5) vs. Eastern Kentucky (5-3)
When: 7 p.m. Tonight
Where: The Convo
— Ohio has lost its last five games overall.
— Two of Eastern Kentucky’s losses have come from ranked opponents.
— The Bobcats were victorious in their only night game this season.