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Ohio Women's Basketball Takes Unbeaten Record West For Denver Thanksgiving Classic

Ohio Women's Basketball Takes Unbeaten Record West For Denver Thanksgiving Classic


Game Notes (PDF)

Friday, Nov. 23, 2018
3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. MT | Ohio (3-0) vs. St. Bonaventure (2-2) | Magness Arena | Denver, Colo | Live Audio | StatBroadcast

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. MT | Ohio vs. Lamar (4-1) | Magness Arena | Denver, Colo | Live Audio | StatBroadcast

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio women's basketball team (3-0) is taking its unbeaten record west to the Rocky Mountains as the Bobcats are set to compete in the Denver Thanksgiving Classic this weekend at Magness Arena in Denver, Colo.

Ohio will play two neutral site games in two days, taking on St. Bonaventure (2-2) on Friday (Nov. 23) and Lamar (4-1) on Saturday (Nov. 24). Both contests are set to get underway at 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. MT. The games will be broadcast on the radio on WOUB-AM 1340, with Jake Hromada calling the action. The radio broadcast will also be available on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet.

Ohio will be looking to start a season 5-0 for the third time in the last five years.

The Bobcats moved to 3-0 for the fourth time in the last five seasons by dictating the court in a 100-60 win over Eastern Kentucky last Sunday (Nov. 18) at the Convocation Center. The contest marked the first time Ohio has scored at least 100 points in a game since a 101-73 win at Akron on Feb. 20, 2016. The Bobcats shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the field -- including 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range. Ohio held a decisive edge in points in the paint (44-16), fastbreak points (28-5), points off turnovers (24-12) and bench points (38-21). Ohio tallied 20 assists for the second game in a row.

The Bobcats dominated the final 20 minutes of play in an 86-49 rout of Binghamton on Nov. 15 at the Convocation Center. The Bobcats outscored the Bearcats 49-16 in the second half. Ohio recorded 20 assists on 32 made field goals -- the most in a game for the program since tallying 20 in a 77-75 victory over Northern Illinois on Jan. 24, 2018. The Bobcats limited Binghamton to just 3-of-8 shooting over the final 20 minutes -- including just one made three-pointer.

Ohio opened the 2018-19 season with a 95-72 victory over UNCW on Nov. 11 at the Convo. The Bobcats improved to 5-1 in season openers under head coach Bob Boldon -- including 2-0 in openers played at the Convo. Ohio shot 56.1 percent (32-of-57) from the floor and sank 77.8 percent (21-of-27) of its free throw attempts. The Bobcats tallied 14 steals and forced the Seahawks to commit 26 turnovers, turning them into 29 points.

Ohio enters the Denver Thanksgiving Classic ranked seventh in the country in scoring offense (93.7 points per game) and eighth in field goal percentage (52.7 percent; 96-of-182). The Bobcats have shot 39.5 percent (30-of-76) from three-point range, which is good for 31st in the country. The Bobcats' +33.3 scoring margin average ranks 17th in the nation. Ohio is averaging 19.7 assists per game, which ranks 27th in the nation. The Bobcats are 12th in the country with a 1.55 assist-to-turnover ratio and 18th with a +8.67 turnover margin. 

The Bobcats have seen multiple players make an impact offensively in their three victories to start off 2018-19. After five players finished in double figures in points in the win over UNCW, four did so in the victory over Binghamton. Five plays finished in double figures again in the big win over Eastern Kentucky last Sunday.

Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week last Tuesday (Nov. 13). Burris, whose major is undeclared, earned weekly conference honors for the first time in her career. Burris scored a career-high 23 points to lead Ohio to the win over UNCW. She shot 8-of-15 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, and made all four of her free throw attempts. She also chipped in five rebounds and a steal in 35 minutes of action.

In the win over Binghamton, Burris did not score, but Ohio was +35 with her on the floor. She tallied a career-high four steals in the victory. She then finished with 13 points off of four made field goals and five made free throws and hauled in a team-high seven boards in the win over Eastern Kentucky. She currently ranks fourth on the team with 12.0 points per game and second with 5.7 rebounds per game.

Burris earned a spot on the MAC All-Freshman Team in 2017-18. She averaged 10.2 points per game in her rookie campaign to rank third on the team and 4.4 boards per game to rank second.

Sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) represented Ohio on the 2018-19 Preseason All-MAC East Division Team. Hooks is coming off a rookie season in which she was named MAC Freshman of the Year and earned sports on both the All-MAC Third Team and MAC All-Freshman Team. She averaged a team-high 13.5 points per game and became the second-highest scoring freshman in program history with 406 points. She broke Ohio's single-season record with 100 steals (3.3 per game) and led the Bobcats with 4.8 rebounds per game.

Hooks made seven of her nine field goals attempts en route to a 16-point performance in the 2018-19 season opener against UNCW. She then led all scorers with 20 points off of a career-high nine made field goals in the victory over Binghamton. She also chipped in eight rebounds, a game-high seven assists and two steals in 23 minutes. Hooks topped her performance against Binghamton with a season-high 21 points off of 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe in last Sunday's victory over Eastern Kentucky.

Hooks, who is averaging a team-high 19 points per game so far this year, ranks 22nd in the country in field goal percentage (69.7 percent; 23-of-33). She is also averaging 6.7 assists per contest, which ranks 16th in the nation, and 3.67 steals per game, which ranks 25th in the country.

Redshirt freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) has been an impactful presence off of the bench for Ohio through three games in 2018-19. Johnson, who redshirted the 2017-18 campaign, finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 25 minutes off of the bench her collegiate debut in the season opener against UNCW. She then continued her strong start to her collegiate career, making six shots -- including five triples -- to record a career-high 19 points against Binghamton. She also hauled in a career-high nine rebounds and dished out a six assists in 28 minutes off of the bench. Johnson made it two games in a row with 19 points in last Sunday's win over Eastern Kentucky, going 6-of-8 from the field with a pair of treys and sinking all five of her free throw attempts. She also distributed a career-high eight assists.

Johnson currently ranks third on the squad with 16.3 points per game while leading Ohio with 7.3 boards per contest and ranking second with 6.3 assists per game, which is good for 25th in the country.

Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) is averaging 17.3 points per game through three contests in 2018-19 to rank second on the team. She finished with 20 points in the season-opening win over UNCW, then tallied 14 points in the victory over Binghamton. In last Sunday's win over Eastern Kentucky, Burke scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting -- including three treys.

The season-opening win over UNCW saw senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) total 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes of work. In the win over Binghamton, senior forward Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) set a new career high with 13 points after making a career-high four field goals -- including a trey -- and sinking a career-high four free throws. She also achieved career highs with five rebounds, two assists and a game-high two blocks in 23 minutes of action.

The Bobcats are in their sixth season under the direction of head coach Bob Boldon, who was named the 10th head coach in program history on March 28, 2013.

Ohio has gone 103-58 (.640) with Boldon at the helm of the program. His .640 winning percentage is the highest of any head coach in the history of Ohio women's basketball, and he needs 21 more wins to surpass Marsha Reall (123; 1990-99) for the most in program history.

Boldon led Ohio to back-to-back MAC regular season titles in 2015 and '16. The Bobcats won the MAC tournament crown in 2015 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995. Ohio participated in the WNIT in both 2016 and '17 and advanced to the third round in '16. 

Tavares Jackson has been an assistant coach on Bob Boldon's Ohio staff for six years. Marwan Miller is in his third season on Boldon's staff as an assistant coach and fifth overall after serving as the program's director of operations for the 2013-14 and '14-15 seasons. 

Steph Hass is the team's new assistant coach after spending the last two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast as a video coordinator following a four-year playing career with the Eagles. Tia Jameson is in her fourth season as Ohio's director of operations. Ohio familiar face will be on the Ohio bench as a graduate assistant this season as Kiyanna Black returns to the Bobcats following a stellar playing career in Athens in which she racked up 1,724 career points -- the third-most in the history of the program.

A LOOK BACK AT 2017-18
Ohio is coming off of a 2017-18 season in which it finished 16-15 overall and 9-9 in conference play. The No. 5-seeded Bobcats topped Akron, 85-73, in the MAC Tournament First Round before falling to No. 4-seeded Miami, 69-66, in the quarterfinals. Ohio has advanced to the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals each of the last three seasons.

Ohio was picked to finish third in the MAC East Division in the league's 2018-19 preseason coaches' poll, which was announced by the league office on Wednesday (Oct. 31). The Bobcats earned three of the MAC East Division's 12 first-place votes and finished with 57 points. Ohio also received one vote to win the 2019 MAC regular season title.

St. Bonaventure enters the Denver Thanksgiving Classic with a 2-2 record, most recently falling to Hofstra, 67-59, on Nov. 17 at home at the Reilly Center in Olean, N.Y.

The Bonnies are guided by third-year head coach Jesse Fleming. St. Bonaventure was picked to finish 12th out of 14 teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference's preseason poll.

Freshman guard Asianae Johnson is averaging a team-high 12.8 points per game while senior guard Mckenna Maycock is also averaging double figures with 10. 0 points per contest.

Friday's game marks the first meeting between Ohio and St. Bonaventure.

Lamar takes a 4-1 record into the Denver Thanksgiving Classic. The Cardinals are coming off of a 104-27 rout of LeTourneau on Tuesday (Nov. 20). Before playing Ohio on Saturday, Lamar will square off against Denver on Friday. Lamar is averaging 86 points per game while holding the opposition to 57.6 points per game through five contests so far this year.

Robin Harmony is in her sixth season as head coach at Lamar and was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2017-18 after leading the Cardinals to a 17-1 record in league play and a conference regular season title.  The Cardinals received the maximum 24 votes from the Southland's head coaches and sports information directors to earn the top spot in the league's 2018-19 preseason poll.

Senior guard Moe Kinard is averaging 16.8 points per game to lead Lamar. Senior guard Chastadie Barrs is averaging 14.0 points per game to rank second on the squad and is averaging a team-high 4.0 assists per game. Freshman forward Miya Crump is shooting 51 percent (25-of-49) from the field and ranks third on the team with 13.6 points per game. She is also averaging a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jadyn Pimentel is scoring at an 11.4 points-per-game clip.

The Bobcats and the Cardinals will be facing off for the first-time ever on Saturday.

Ohio returns to the friendly confines of the Convo on Saturday, Dec. 1, for a 1 p.m. ET matchup against in-state rival Cleveland State.