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Ohio Women's Basketball CeCe Hooks
Junior CeCe Hooks led the Bobcats with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals in Ohio’s 66-54 loss at Syracuse. PHOTO: Ben Weilgopolski/WOUB

Ohio Women’s Basketball: After strong start, Bobcats’ offense struggles in loss at No. 21 Syracuse

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The Bobcats had the opportunity to do something they never have done before – beat a ranked opponent.

The Bobcats opened the 2019-20 season facing a tough opponent out of the ACC on the road.  No. 21 Syracuse advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals last season and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

The first quarter couldn’t have gone much better for the Bobcats.  Ohio opened the game with a 14-2 scoring run and held a 20-10 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

The Orange outscored Ohio 21-10 in the second quarter, capped off by a  Teleah Washington three-pointer at the first half buzzer to give Syracuse a 31-30 lead, its first of the night, heading into the locker room, erasing what once was a 14-point Ohio lead.

The Bobcats offense struggled in the second half, only shooting 27 percent (9-of-33) from the field and 3-of-13 from three-point range.  The offensive struggles by Ohio (0-1) combined with the inability to win the rebound battle throughout the game resulted in a 66-54 loss to Syracuse (1-0) on Tuesday night.

Ohio was out-rebounded by Syracuse 54 to 35.  The Orange also had eight more offensive rebounds than the Bobcats and scored 19 second chance points, 13 more than Ohio.

CeCe Hooks led the Bobcats with 17 points and three steals.  Hooks was a rebound shy of a double-double.  Amani Burke and Erica Johnson also reached double-digit point totals with 15 points and 13 points, respectively.

In total, Ohio shot 31.7 percent (20-of-63) from the field and only 7-of-30 from beyond the arc.  Syracuse didn’t shoot the ball particularly well either, only shooting just under 40 percent and 9-of-26 from three-point range.

The Bobcats return to the Convocation Center on Sunday to host American.  The Bobcats defeated American 77-67 last season in Washington D.C.  The Eagles played in the Patriot League Championship game last season before playing in the WNIT.  Tip-off from The Convo is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.