Erica Johnson gets ready to fire a pass during the Bobcats’ 68-60 win over Western Kentucky on March 28, 2019. PHOTO: Nick Mullens/WOUB

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Erica Johnson’s historic game pushes Bobcats past American

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ATHENS, Ohio—Following a tough road loss to Syracuse, the Bobcats looked to start their home season off on the right track and with the help of the elite play of Erica Johnson, the Bobcats beat the Eagles 81-69 Sunday afternoon.

Ohio started the game on fire from beyond-the-arc. Of the Bobcats 26 first-quarter points, 15 came from beyond-the-arc. Half of the Bobcats made baskets came from 3-point range.

“We don’t have a set offense so it’s just bodies moving around,” Erica Johnson said. “We have the freedom to do whatever we want.”

Thanks to the hot shooting in the first quarter, the Bobcats never played catch-up as they led the entire game.

However, in the second quarter, the Bobcats’ three-point shooting fell flat. Ohio shot one-for-nine from three-point range and five of 16 from the field in the second period. Slow defense and rough shooting allowed the Eagles to inch their way back. But, the Bobcats would still hold a lead as they ended the half up 42-33.

Erica Johnson led the first half in scoring, rebounds and assists — She had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

In the second half, Cece Hooks helped take some of the load off with 13 second-half points. Hooks also helped Johnson complete her first career triple-double.

Johnson continued to light the way for the Bobcats as she ended with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Johnson’s triple-double is the first in Ohio Women’s basketball program history and the 13th triple-double in MAC history.

“I’m kinda surprised this is her first one,” head coach Bob Boldon said. “She’s just a really talented kid and she loves playing basketball, and she’s smart and she understands the game.”

Despite a great offensive showing from the Bobcats, they were not satisfied with their defensive play.

“We gotta get better defensively,” Caitlyn Kroll said. “We didn’t play the defense we played against Syracuse here. We need to continuously get better if we want to reach our goals.”

The team continues to have the feeling of being unsatisfied — an effect from the motto “unfinished business.”

“We have expectations to play a certain way and it’s my job to hold them to those expectations,” Boldon said. “They have to be held to a standard.”

The Bobcats will look to build off the win and get above .500 as they host Marshall on Wednesday.