Ohio Women's basketball Erica Johnson
Ohio’s Erica Johnson looks for an option shot in the Bobcats’ game against Central Michigan on Jan. 2, 2021.

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Bobcats get revenge on Central Michigan in 93-84 road win

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It seems like every time Ohio and Central Michigan meet up on the basketball court, the game is tight and comes right down to the end.

Saturday was a little different as Ohio dominated for much of the afternoon — leading the Chippewas for 35 minutes of the game, but Central Michigan made it interesting at the end.

After Ohio led by double digits for a good majority of the game, Micaela Kelly spearheaded a late rally to bring the score within five points points late.

A win is a win though, and a win over the MAC favorite on the road makes it an even bigger feat.  Ohio (6-4, 4-3 MAC) escaped Mount Pleasant with a 93-84 win over Central Michigan (7-4, 5-2 MAC).

“Our backs were against the wall, looking at having a losing record in the conference for the first time in a long time,”  Ohio head coach Bob Boldon said in a postgame radio interview.  “That gets your attention and they had to do it against the best team in the conference and they did it. They deserve a lot of credit for that.”

Boldon was not happy with the Bobcats’ defensive output on Wednesday night against Ball State as they were outrebounded, 51-31.  Ohio rebounded the ball a lot better on Saturday as both the Bobcats and Chippewas had 32 rebounds each.  Ohio also won the battle on the offensive glass, 9-8.

“With this team, it’s never been about skill,”  Boldon said.  “It’s being willing to do things like rebound and guard well.”

Ohio had five players reach double figures.

CeCe Hooks had 26 points before fouling.  Erica Johnson also finished the ball game with 26 points in addition to six steals.  Gabby Burris finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Caitlyn Kroll continues to be a solid shooter from beyond the arc since she began her post-practice shooting routine after the last time OU and Central Michigan played.  Kroll was 3-of-5 from three and finished with 12 points.  Additionally, Kroll grabbed eight rebounds.

Freshman Madi Mace also scored a career-high 12 points for the Bobcats.

Ohio was efficient from the free-throw line, hitting 26 of its 30 free-throw attempts.  The most important free throws came at the end of the game to help secure the victory.

“Making them in that situation is tough,” Boldon said.  “It’s not easy, but they deserve a lot of credit for stepping to the line and making free throws and walk out of here with the win.”

Ohio will return to The Convo on Wednesday to host Buffalo (8-3, 5-1 MAC).  The Bulls’ game on Saturday was canceled because of COVID issues on their opponent Ball State’s roster.  Tip-off between the Bobcats and Bulls is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Ohio’s Erica Johnson had 26 points, six steals, four rebounds and two assists in the Bobcats’ win over Central Michigan