As the Bobcats' roster continues to get healthier and the team becomes more comfortable with this style of play, they have done better and better. A perfect example of this was Saturday's win over Central Michigan. The Bobcats played stellar offense, dropping 30 points in the first quarter and 27 in the second. Those were two of Ohio's top three scoring quarters in the season. More importantly, the comfort level on offense let Boldon and the Bobcats mix things up on defense, running a triangle-and-two to limit Central Michigan's top scorers.
Ohio's offense has always fed off of its offense, but how much? What is the benefit of taking so many threes? This article will break down three crucial aspects that have determined Ohio's performance this season: 3-point shooting, defense to offense, and comparing scoring from upperclassmen and lowerclassmen.
Three Point Shooting
The team has shot above 31% from beyond the three-point line in five of Ohio's six victories this season. This shows that Ohio can knock those shots down and score quickly when getting good looks and open shots. From the first game of the season, long-distance shooting has been the center point of Ohio's offense as there has not been one game this year where Ohio hasn't taken at least 20 threes.
As mentioned above, this can be a good and bad thing for the Bobcats. The fast-paced scoring played right into Ohio's hands this past week, but there have been multiple games where Ohio has dug itself into holes in which it couldn't recover. In Ohio's first game against Kent State, they made just one 3-pointer out of 21 attempts for a dismal 5%. Making shots fuels Ohio's confidence and sharing the ball helps the team get open looks.
In Saturday's matchup against Central Michigan, Ohio set season highs for points in a quarter and assists. Ohio had 22 assists on 30 made baskets with only 13 turnovers after having 26 turnovers in the previous game.
Moving the ball around quickly and with a purpose is important for the Bobcats. The more they share the ball, the more successful everyone will be on offense.
Defense to Offense
Ohio has struggled to play complementary basketball for most of this season, but that has changed as of late. On Saturday, Ohio scored 23 points off turnovers. It also only committed 11 fouls and forced nine steals with four blocks. One of those blocks was by sophomore Kate Dennis, who then collected the rebound and made an outlet pass to a sprinting Yaya Felder. It was one of the many examples of the Bobcats' improved defense.
The limited fouls and increased defensive performance then led to cohesiveness on offense. With no one on the team being in foul trouble, the Bobcats could commit to their planned offensive and defensive strategy. Also, for a team that has suffered so many injuries this season, depth is very important for the Bobcats as they want to get out and run down the floor.
Ohio ranks seventh in the MAC with 2.56 blocks a game and third in the conference in steals averaging over eight a game. It is a high risk high, reward mentality for this young Bobcats team.
Upperclassmen vs. Lowerclassmen
Ohio is led offensively by MAC leading scorer and sophomore Yaya Felder. Felder averages 21 points a game and has more than doubled the point total of any other Bobcat on the roster. In her first start of the season, freshman Jaya McClure had 22 points to go along with Felder's 32.
Redshirt senior Caitlyn Kroll is second on the team in scoring at 8.7 points a game. However, the Bobcats will be without her services for the rest of the season as she has suffered a season-ending injury. The other upperclassmen that have impacted the box score for the Bobcats are redshirt juniors, Abby Garnett and Jasmine Hale. These two players are averaging 7.1 and 6.5 points, respectively.
After this season, even with the players they will lose, Ohio will be returning the majority of its scoring. This proves that Ohio's young roster has many more years to gel and will continue to be a strong force offensively. This doesn't mean that the upperclassmen for Ohio are hurting the team, that could not be further from the truth. Their work affects more than just the box score.