ATHENS, Ohio – Behind a game-high 23-point performance from sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio), the Ohio Women's Basketball team (14-1, 3-1 MAC) held off Kent State (10-5, 3-1 MAC), 83-81, at the Convocation Center on Wednesday night.
Hooks was 7-of-11 from the field and 8-of-12 from the free-throw line for her 23 points while chipping in four assists and a team-high three steals in 29 minutes. Redshirt freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) added 16 points by going 5-of-10 from the field. She dished out three assists while adding six rebounds in 34 minutes. Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) followed closely behind with 15 points by going 5-of-10 from the field and added four rebounds, three assists and a game-high two blocks in 36 minutes of work. Senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) added 14 points by going 4-of-6 from the field including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. She added a game-high five assists, a block and a steal in her 34 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) was just short of a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds for Ohio in 39 minutes of play. Freshman forward Deesh Beck (Grand Rapids, Mich.) contributed eight rebounds for the Bobcats in 14 minutes of action.
As a team, Ohio shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field and 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from the three-point line. Ohio earned 34 of their points in the paint and 19 off of turnovers. The Ohio bench outscored the Kent State bench 20-14. The Bobcats held Kent State to 40.9 percent (27-of-66) shooting and 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from deep. Ohio outrebounded Kent State 36 to 35.
Ohio won the jumpball and converted a quick basket to take an early 2-0 lead. Hooks would knock down an early three, convert a steal for two points and add two free-throws to stretch the lead to 10-2 after four minutes of play. Kent State answered with a 4-1 run but Hooks, with an up and under basket, ended the run. Kent State would attempt to gain momentum with a three-point basket but Doseck would convert a three of her own for a 16-9 advantage with just under four minutes of play remaining in the first quarter. After a pair of free-throws for Kent State were answered by a pair of free-throws for Ohio, the Bobcat defense forced a shot clock violation that was followed by back-to-back baskets from Johnson which increased the lead to 22-11 with under a minute left. Burris registered a three-point basket with two seconds remaining in the opening quarter that gave Ohio a 25-12 advantage to begin the second quarter.
The Bobcats were led by Hooks with nine points in the first quarter while Ohio shot 8-of-16 from the field.
Kent State driven to fight back began the second quarter with a 7-2 run that brought the Golden Flashes within eight, down 27-19. Ohio quickly crushed the momentum with a 10-2 run on a basket by Burke, three free-throws and a basket by Hooks and a three-point basket by Doseck that forced a Kent State timeout with six minutes left in the second quarter. Ohio and Kent State traded baskets as the three-minute mark approached which maintained a 16-point Ohio advantage ahead 41-25. Kent State converted a deep three-point basket but, Burke delivered a bomb to extend the lead back to 16 with the two minutes left to play in the second quarter. Beck added a basket that gave Ohio its largest lead of the game with a 46-29 advantage. Kent State would go on to make a jumper with eight seconds remaining in the quarter that gave Ohio a 46-31 advantage at half-time.
After a dominating first quarter, Ohio and Kent State had a more evenly matched second quarter as Ohio went 7-of-16 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line for 21 points compared to Kent State who went 8-of-16 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free-throw line for 19 points.
Doseck got the scoring going in the second half with a layup and extra point after Kent State outscored Ohio 4-1 through three minutes of second half play. Johnson extended the lead with a three-point basket to give Ohio a 53-37 advantage in the third quarter. Kent State chipped away at the Bobcat lead pulling within nine, trailing 53-44, with just over three-minutes remaining in the third quarter. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the third quarter, but Kent State converted on a last second layup that reduced the Ohio advantage to seven, ahead 57-50, entering the final quarter.
Kent State outscored Ohio 19-11 in the third quarter and was 5-of-15 from the field while holding the Bobcats to 3-of-11 shooting. Johnson had six in the quarter while Doseck added three.
Doseck opened the fourth quarter with a three-point bucket but Kent State answered with back-to-back baskets pulling within six. Ohio was able to convert on a layup attempt, but the Golden Flashes answered yet again with a 7-1 run that reduced the Ohio advantage to two, ahead 63-61, with just over six minutes remaining in the game. Ohio created a run of its own to extend the lead to 70-63 with under five minutes remaining. Kent State quickly used a timeout in an attempt to shut down the Bobcat momentum. With under two-minutes remaining, Kent State pulled within four. After the two teams traded baskets for a minute, Kent State was forced to foul Ohio, trailing 74-70, with under one-minute to play. Johnson converted four free-throws to points while Hooks added one that gave Ohio a 79-70 lead with under 30 seconds remaining in the final quarter. Kent State converted a layup, a free throw and a three-point basket to pull within five with 13.5 seconds left but Ohio would hold off the Golden Flashes for the 83-81 victory.
Kent State outscored Ohio 31-26 in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats are back in action at home as they host Eastern Michigan on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.