Ohio Women’s Basketball: Erica Johnson saving her best ball for the MAC tournament< < Back to
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Erica Johnson is playing like anything but a freshmen. She has back-to-back double-double’s in the MAC tournament and she’s a big reason why Ohio is headed to the MAC Championship game on Saturday against Buffalo.
Johnson followed up her 18-point, 10-rebound performance in Ohio’s 72-56 win over Northern Illinois in the MAC Quarterfinals with the same stat line in their win against Miami in the MAC semi-finals: 18 points and 10 rebounds, including 4-of-5 from three.
If Ohio is able to beat Buffalo and claim the MAC title, Johnson might just be well on her way to being named the MAC tournament MVP. But Johnson knows that without the help of her teammates, being considered MVP wouldn’t even be on the table.
“It’d mean a lot. It’d be very special. I couldn’t do it without my teammates, my coaches,” Johnson said. “They push me to my limit and they know what I can do. They believe in me when I don’t believe in myself. Sometimes if I find my head down, they’re picking me up. So to just get that accomplishment would be phenomenal.”
But Johnson being the team-first player she is, has only one thing in mind.
“Our goal is to get a ring, so we want to do that by winning our conference first,” Johnson said. “Everyone wants to go dancing. You’ve got to take care of business first.”
Head coach Bob Boldon was lost for words when describing Johnson’s progression throughout her freshmen year.
“She’s good, she’s good, she’s good. She makes plays, she wants to make plays, ” Boldon said. “She’s a better basketball player than she was when the season started. It’s what you hope for for all your kids, that when the season ends, they played their best basketball.”
With Johnson leading the way, Ohio has the chance to capture their first MAC tournament title since 2015 and an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament Saturday at 11 a.m. inside the Q.