Ohio’s Erica Johnson finished with 16 points in Ohio’s 74-68 victory over Ohio State on Nov. 17 at Value City Arena (PHOTO: Nick Viland/WOUB)

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Bobcats pick up statement win over Ohio State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Bobcats got the opportunity they wanted for several years – to play in-state foe Ohio State.  The Bobcats and Buckeyes have not met since 2004 and Ohio has never beaten Ohio State in 12 attempts.

The Buckeyes elected to not schedule games with Ohio the past several years.

The teams met for the first time in 15 years Saturday at Value City Arena and Ohio (3-1) picked up a statement win with a 74-68 victory over Ohio State (2-1).

“It’s a big win for the program,” Ohio head coach Bob Boldon said.  “We’ve been fortunate to beat some other Big Ten teams in the past couple years, but that’s always kind of a feather in our cap.  We talk in recruiting and our players that we’re playing to win games.  Everybody we play, we’re trying to beat.”

CeCe Hooks picked up her fourth foul of the game about midway through the third quarter.  Bob Boldon was forced to pull Hooks and, at that point, Erica Johnson flipped the switch and took complete control of the game.

“CeCe got in foul trouble and I knew if CeCe’s not bringing energy, I had to bring energy,”  Ohio guard Erica Johnson said.  “I had to get over myself and get my head back in the game and (baskets) started falling.”

Johnson finished with 16 points with 14 coming in the second half.  Johnson was a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the field in the second.

Amani Burke led Ohio with 23 points in her hometown of Columbus.

“It means the world right now,” Ohio senior guard Amani Burke said.  “We’ve always been looked at as the underdog in Ohio.”

The Bobcats offense started off cold in the first half as they only shot 25 percent (9-of-36) from the field and just 1-of-12 from three-point range.  A three-pointer by Ohio State late in the half sent the Bobcats to the locker room down 32-30.

The second half statistics for Ohio were much better.

The Bobcats were red-hot in the third quarter, shooting 67 percent from the field and 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.  Ohio led 53-47 after three.

Ohio State rebounded in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 68 with 2:04 remaining, but the Bobcats finished the game on a 6-0 run.

Ohio's Amani Burke led the Bobcats with 23 points at Ohio State on November. 17, 2019. (PHOTO: Nick Viland/WOUB)
Ohio head coach Bob Boldon and Ohio picked up their first win against a Power Five opponent of the season against Big Ten opponent Ohio State on Nov. 17, 2019 (PHOTO: Nick Viland/WOUB)
Ohio's Abby Garnett and Hunter Rogan celebrate after a basket at Ohio State on Nov. 17, 2019. (PHOTO: Nick Viland/WOUB)

Ohio returns to action on Saturday when Incarnate Word visits the Convocation Center.  Tip-off for the game is set for 1 p.m.