PHOTO: Taylor Jedrzejek/WOUB

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Defense guides ‘Cats to victory over Kent State

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ATHENS, Ohio – For a majority of the first half, the Golden Flashes controlled the pace of the game.  A major factor in that was junior standout, Cece Hooks, spending most of her first half on the bench in foul trouble.

The Bobcats jumped to a quick 11-5 lead, which was quickly shut down by a 7-0 run by Kent State.  For almost the entirety of the first quarter, the two ball clubs went basket for basket.  The Flashes took control in the second half which put them up 37-31 at half on the Bobcats.

Bob Boldon credited the first half defensive struggles to the number of touches in the paint Ohio allowed.

“I know the first half the paint touches and the paint scoring was absurd,” Boldon said.

Ohio’s defense did not come into question during the second half.  The Bobcats came out rolling.  They started the half on an 8-0 run that put them on top, 39-37.  Although the biggest lead of the game for the Bobcats was just seven points, Ohio controlled the pace thanks to Cece Hooks.

Entering the third quarter Hooks had three fouls. With that being said, she did not allow that to alter her aggressiveness on the defensive end.  After a tough first half, Hooks mentions that she was able to keep her composure and help her teammates out.

“Erica and Amani,” Hooks said when asked who keeps her composed.  “They always tell me to keep my head up and everything is going to be alright.”

Hooks ended the game in double figures with 12 points.

Erica Johnson and Cece Hooks combined for a total of 10 steals, splitting five a piece, which is one more than the entire Kent State team had.

Luckily for the Bobcats, Erica Johnson continued her offensive success.  Johnson finished the game with 22 points, which is her third straight game scoring 20 points or more.  The Bobcats’ bench played a crucial role as guards Peyton Guice and Caitlyn Kroll stepped up big when Hooks was in foul trouble.

The Bobcats are looking forward to their bye week this upcoming week.

“We have about four kids that won’t do a thing until about Wednesday,” Boldon said.  “They need that time off. That is what the bye week is for.”

Johnson and Hooks were also asked about their bye week.

“I think that it came late, for me personally but well needed,” Erica Johnson said.

Hooks added that she is ready to relax and was ready for the break.

Ohio will take the floor again on Feb. 15 against Miami (OH) in Oxford.  Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.