By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Lady Colonels (3-3) couldn’t overcome a slow start and cold shooting Saturday, falling to Ohio University 60-52 in McBrayer Arena.
The Lady Bobcats jumped out to an early 11-6 lead as EKU struggled with turnovers and had trouble scoring against the physical inside play of the Lady Bobcats.
EKU turned the ball over 14 times in the first half and shot a frigid 1-of-8 from behind the arc.
Cold shooting nights happen to every team, but it was her team’s uninspired play early that concerned EKU coach Chrissy Roberts.
“I don’t know if we came out ready to play tonight,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to figure things out and make some changes. You’ve got to play through things and not be affected and I think we were affected tonight.”
But the Lady Colonels still found themselves within striking distance with 5:16 to go after back-to-back baskets by Shelly Harper and Miranda Maples cut the Ohio lead down to 21-18.
The Lady Bobcats regrouped and stretched their lead back out to 11 at the half, 33-22.
The second half was much of the same as the Lady Colonels several times cut the Lady Bobcats lead down to five but just couldn’t get over the hump.
Ohio took its largest lead of the night at 48-32 with 8:15 remaining, but EKU scrapped and clawed its way back once again.
A 7-0 EKU run spearheaded by the defense of Jasmine Stafford and the rebounding of Miranda Maples got the Lady Colonels to within three at 53-50, but turnovers at crucial times doomed EKU down the stretch, and they could get no closer.
“We had 14 turnovers in the first half and only had seven in the second, which is good, but turning the ball over at those times really crushed our momentum,” Roberts said. “It’s just staying down and staying focused. But at the end of the day, I think we were picking and choosing our moments we wanted to play and we’ve got to be consistent for 40 minutes.”
On the night, the Lady Colonels shot only 8.3 percent (1-12) from behind the three-point line and 29.1 percent (16-55) from the floor.
With that many missed shots, there were a lot of rebounds available, the only problem was it was Ohio that came up with most of them. The Lady Bobcats pulled down 30 defensive rebounds, limiting the Lady Colonels to only one shot most of the night.
“We were only getting one shot. We do have to crash the offensive boards a little harder. Miranda and Shelly got in there and mixed it up and Jasmine Stafford got in there, but we need more on the offensive glass,” Roberts said. “I just felt like our effort and our intensity is a little inconsistent right now.”
One bright spot on the night was the play of freshman Michaela Hunter who came off the bench to score a career-high nine points. She also had two rebounds, two assists and a steal and really provided some much-needed energy when she was in the game.
“She is starting to come along. She played well and she’s starting to come into her own and we need that from her,” Roberts said.
Harper led the Lady Colonels with 13 points and five rebounds. Stafford was the only other player in double figures with 10. She also added three rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Maples only had five points in the game, but she had a huge night on the boards, pulling down 13 rebounds.
Leading scorer Marie Carpenter was limited to only nine points, five rebounds and two assists, while Nicole Bowers added four points and three rebounds and Pilar Walker had two points.
The Lady Colonels return to action Nov. 29 when they take on Florida A&M at Southern Mississippi.