The Ohio Bobcats (27-4) are dancing for the third time in school history.
Despite trailing throughout most of the first half, Ohio outperformed the Eastern Michigan Eagles (22-12) in almost all categories in the latter half to pick up a 60-44 victory. Ohio used a 25-13 run to start the second half, which gave the Bobcats a 50-40 advantage. OU held Eastern Michigan's second chance opportunities in check, which was something that the Eagles had done well all tournament. EMU only pulled down one more o-rebound than the Bobcats did, compared to the double-digit difference advantage EMU had versus Ball State in the semifinals.
The loss ends the dream run that Eastern put together in this tournament. A victory would have created history, as Eastern was one victory away from becoming the first team in MAC Women's Tournament history to win five games in six days to make the big dance. For Ohio, this is their first MAC title since 1986, and their 27-win season sets a school record.
For the most part, Cha Sweeney did her part, scoring 24 points, but no other Eagles' player reached double figures and EMU was unable to make the game interesting down the stretch. Kiyanna Black scored a game-high 25 points to lead Ohio. The 'Cats also got double digit performances from Lexie Baldwin and Mariah Byard, who each scored 13 and 12. Defensively, Ohio turned up the pressure and held EMU to 25% shooting and just 21% shooting from behind the three-point line. On the other hand, Ohio was 14-35 from long distance, with Black hitting five of those triples.
Ohio punches their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, and are projected to be a 13-seed according to Charlie Creme from ESPN. EMU finishes at 22-12, and will likely be headed to the WNIT.
|Points||K. Black (25)||C. Sweeney (24)|
|Rebounds||Q. Lampkins (8)||R. Kehoe and J. Bucknor (6)|
|Assists||Q. Lampkins(5)||J. Morton and C. Sweeney (2)|
|Blocks||L. Baldwin (3)||Three Players (1)|
|Steals||L. Baldwin (3)||J. Morton (5)|