OXFORD, Ohio – The Ohio Women's Basketball team (24-4, 13-4 MAC) clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 70-66 win over Miami (21-7, 12-5 MAC) on Wednesday night inside Millett Hall.
"As we say, any road win in the MAC is a good road win," head coach Bob Boldon said. "To beat (Miami) after losing a big lead, getting back the lead and hanging on, that's good for our kids. It's a good learning process and to do it with kids in foul trouble and kids who fouled out, people needed to step up. It was really good and it feels really good to win."
Ohio's win over Miami made head coach Bob Boldon the winningest coach in program history. Boldon is 124-61 as a head coach at Ohio and he passed former head coach Marsha Reall. Boldon's winning percentage of .670 is the highest of any head coach in program history.
"I couldn't do it without my staff," Boldon said on becoming Ohio's winningest coach. "You know, Kate (Bruce) and Mary (Evans) when they were here, Tavares (Jackson) who has been with me for almost a decade now, then Marwan (Miller) and Tia (Jameson). Hiring Steph (Haas) has been a great addition to what we do here. I joke with my brothers all the time, you know my wife is a surgeon, and nobody asks her about her success rate or anything. She's a great surgeon, and both of my brothers are in very good careers, but I get to do my job in front of people and work with people I thoroughly enjoy. You guys get to keep track of things, both good and bad, and I think that's pretty special. The support I've had from my family just to get to this point and the sacrifices they made to allow me to do this is really special."
The Bobcats found themselves up 40-17 at halftime. Ohio outscored Miami 22-4 in the second quarter and started the second period on a 21-0 run. Miami turned around and outscored Ohio 27-10 in the third quarter and with 6:57 left in the game, tied it at 55-55. Senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) grabbed the lead right back. Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) clinched the win with two free throws late in the game to give Ohio a 70-66 win.
Ohio was led by redshirt freshman Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio), who had 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Johnson was stellar at the free throw line once again, hitting 9-of-11. Johnson added eight rebounds, three steals and one assist in 33 minutes on the floor.
Sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) had 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Hooks was 8-of-11 from the line and also hit one three. Hooks added six rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes of play.
Burke had 16 points after going 4-of-10 from the field and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Burke had three blocks, five rebounds and two assists.
After sinking 23 free throws in the win over Akron on Saturday, Ohio made 25 tonight. The Bobcats were 25-of-32 (78.1 percent) from the line. Ohio was 34.5 percent (20-58) from the field and 22.7 percent (5-of-22) from behind the arc.
Miami outrebounded Ohio 48-38. The Bobcats had assisted on seven baskets and had five blocks and seven steals.
Ohio held an early 18-13 lead after going 6-of-16 from the field. Johnson was perfect from the line and had six points overall while Hooks and Burke each had five.
The Bobcats defense was stellar in the second quarter. Ohio held Miami to just 7.7 percent (1-of-13) shooting from the line and just four points overall. Burke posted nine points in the second frame while Hooks had seven, Johnson and four and Burris had two. The Bobcats were 7-of-9 from the free throw line in the second quarter. Ohio held Miami scoreless for the first 7:17 of the quarter and took a 40-17 lead into the break.
Miami punched back in the third period with 27 points of their own compared to Ohio's 10. The Bobcats were 3-of-13 in the third frame and 3-of-6 from the free throw line. Johnson and Hooks each had five points. The RedHawks managed to cut the lead to 50-45 going into the final period.
The RedHawks tied the game with 6:57 remaining at 55-55.Doseck grabbed the lead right back with a layup. Burris was able to extend the lead to 63-58 after a couple Johnson free throws and Doseck pushed the lead back to seven with 2:13 left. Ohio was up 68-63 when Miami banked in a three pointer but Burke knocked down two clutch free throws to ice the game at 70-66. Ohio was 4-of-11 in the quarter with Johnson leading the way with seven points. The Bobcats went to the line 13 times and made 11 of their free throws.
Ohio will wrap up the regular season on Saturday for senior day against Bowling Green. Tip off is set for 1 p.m.