Feb. 4, 2017
As fans looked on to the Bobcats sidelines, they witnessed jersey number 15 walking to the substitution desk. With the sound of the buzzer echoing throughout the Convo Center, forward Jasmine Weatherspoon made her return.
Unfortunately, a largely unmemorable one.
After nearly three games without the Bobcats’ defensive anchor, Weatherspoon was inserted into the rotation. Her return created a surge of energy that was encapsulated by her teammates, who used it to secure their 61-55 win in Saturday’s game against the Toledo Rockets.
Weatherspoon’s presence filled a glaring void in the Bobcats lineup, as her return re-established the team’s defensive prowess. Her six-foot-two frame eliminated the Rockets’ inside penetration and created fast break opportunities for Ohio.
However, her contributions were short lived as a result of early foul trouble. Weatherspoon only played 14 minutes, collecting 0 points and 2 rebounds before fouling out with two minutes remaining in the game.
“She just couldn’t seem to get anything going,” Coach Boldon said. “I think those things happen with time off.”
Though Weatherspoon’s performance was miniscule, it inspired the Bobcats to play more securely on the defensive end. This freedom could be attributed to the Bobcats’ perimeter defense, which recorded 10 steals and held the Rockets to 35 percent from the field.
Offensively, Ohio was largely out of sync in the second half. The team’s lack of ball movement resulted in careless turnovers and offensive fouls.
“We were very very stagnant,” Boldon said. “We were looking for drives and cutters that just weren’t there.”
Due to the Bobcats’ offensive ails, players Amani Burke and Hannah Boesinger were forced to carry much of the team’s offense. Both Burke and Boesinger combined for 22 points and 8 rebounds in one of the Bobcats most difficult games this season.
The Bobcats were forced to grind, but they controlled the tempo of the game and held off the Rockets down the stretch.
“They were able to take some things away from us, and kind of make us play a different kind of way,” Boldon said. “Thankfully our defense was enough to get us through.”
With this win, the Bobcats look to capture another impressive victory on Feb. 11, as they travel to Muncie, Indiana, to face conference rival Ball State.