Bobcats guard Dom Doseck driving to the basket against Eastern Kentucky Sunday afternoon. | Nick Henthron WOUB |

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Bobcats defeat Buffalo in overtime; move to program best 12-0

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BUFFALO, NY – A good start to the season is always important.  Ohio completed their non-conference schedule with the best possible record – 11-0.  However, conference games are just as, if not, more important because those games can ultimately propel a team to a conference championship and a postseason tournament.

Ohio (12-0, 1-0 MAC) made sure to start Mid-American Conference on the right foot by defeating Buffalo (8-4, 0-1 MAC) in overtime, 74-71 Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats opened the game shooting poorly – the team shot 17.6 percent from the field in the first quarter and committed six turnovers.  The Bulls had a 46.2 field goal percentage and carried a 16-10 lead into the second quarter.

The poor shooting for Ohio continued into the second quarter as the Bobcats only shot 22.6 percent in the first half and were 3-of-15 from three-point range.  Dominique Doseck led the way for Ohio with nine points.  Gabby Burris and CeCe Hooks scored five points each.  Buffalo shot a modest 12-of-24 from the field and had a 30-20 lead at the half.

Ohio closed the margin to two points with under a minute left in the third quarter, but a late three-pointer gave the Bulls a 47-42 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

An Erica Johnson three-pointer gave the Bobcats the 62-59 lead with 2:29 left.

CeCe Hooks was a game-changer for the Bobcats throughout conference play last season, and she was also a game-changer in Ohio’s conference opener this year.  Hooks scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a layup to give Ohio a 66-63 lead 25 seconds left.  However, Buffalo’s Hanna Hall drained a triple with 15 seconds left to tie the game at 66, which eventually forced overtime.

With under a minute left in overtime, Amani Burke hit a layup to give the Bobcats the 71-69 lead.  Johnson then made two free-throws with nine seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.

Hooks led Ohio with 21 points and seven steals.  Burke finished the game with a double-double – 10 points and 10 rebounds.  Doseck and Burris also reached double-figure point totals with 18 points and 15 points, respectively.

The Bobcats finished the day shooting 34.8 percent from the field and only seven-of-27 from beyond the arc.

Ohio returns to the Convocation Center for the first time in over a month on Wednesday as they welcome Central Michigan.  Tip-off is at 7 p.m.