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MT. PLEASANT, MI.– The Ohio women’s basketball team (3-15, 1-6 MAC) faced Central Michigan (3-14, 1-5 MAC) Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena. The Bobcats fell to the Chippewas 66-69 and were led by Yaya Fields as she beat her new career up in the score. Felder scored 40 points for the Bobcats, who went 12 of 24 from the field, 3 of 10 from the three, and 13 of 14 from the free throw line. Caitlyn Kroll led the Bobcats in rebounding with 9 total, all defensive, followed by 7 from Abby Garnet; 2 offensive and 5 defensive rebounds.
Overall, the Bobcats were 20 of 56 (35.7%) from the field, 7 of 31 (22.6%) from the three, and 19 of 24 (79.2%) from the free throw line. Ohio also grabbed 39 collective rebounds, had 7 assists and a freshman Cassidy Lafler grabbed 2 steals.
Central Michigan challenged the Bobcats from the jump, winning the pick and securing a three-pointer within the first minute of play, giving the initial 3-0 lead. Yaya Fields responded quickly to the intensity and threw a three with assist Kate Dennis. Central Michigan came right back with another three pointer Jasmine Hale garnered a layup from a Chippewa turnover. Caitlyn Kroll led the Bobcats in the first 10 minutes with 4 defensive rebounds from their 12.
Going into the next ten minutes, the Bobcats were trailing 15-19 with CMU led by forward Sydney Harris. The Bobcats approached Harris with defensive pressure and rebounds and held her to just 2 points in the second quarter. Ohio began closing in on the Chippewa’s lead by 12 points Yaya Fields and 4 of Aye Austin. Austin also grabbed 3 defensive rebounds, one of which led to a fast break in Ohio where Felder made a driving layup and pulled a foul to put the Bobcats closer to the lead. Ohio reduced the first-half deficit to 2 with less than a minute left before the Chippewas clinched a three-point jumper and two more points in the paint. The score was Ohio 32, CMU 39 going to the dressing room.
After the Chippewas led the entire first half, the Bobcats came out of the locker room determined to secure their first lead of the game. Abby Garnet initiated the comeback with a three-point jump in the first 30 seconds, followed by back-to-back layups from Felder. Garnett and Felder also grabbed several defensive rebounds to give Ohio their first lead of the game with 5 minutes left. The Bobcats were 47-45 before the first media timeout of the half. The Chippewas reached Ohio quickly at age 50 Jasmine Hale regained the lead for Ohio with another three-point jumper. The Bobcats continued their scoring run, but in the final minute of the third quarter, CMU came back with a quick break and a layoff.
At the start of the fourth and final quarter, the Bobcats were one down, 57-58. They quickly regained the lead after a defensive rebound from Caitlyn Kroll that led to a layup Kate Dennis to bring the score to 59-58. Yaya Fields followed by another layup before calling a media timeout giving the Bobcats a chance to reset. Caitlyn Kroll Ohio led in the final minutes of the contest with 3 defensive rebounds to give the Bobcats more offensive options and give Felder 7 more points down the board. The fourth quarter went back and forth, with the two teams tied at 66 apiece and staying 1:35 on the clock. It was Sydney Harris who hit a three-pointer from downtown to give CMU a 69-66 lead before the Bobcats called for their final timeout. By the time Ohio came out for the final game, he had possession so another shot could emanate from him Caitlyn Kroll. The three-pointer circled the rim twice before falling out and handing the Chippewas a 66-69 loss.
Next: The Ohio women’s basketball team will be heading home to the Convocation Center where they will play Ball State on January 28th. The MAC competition will be announced at 1 p.m. and can be streamed live on ESPN3.