OHIO WBB Erica Johnson
Erica Johnson drives to the basket in Ohio’s game against Buffalo on Jan. 20, 2021 in Athens. (WOUB/Nick Henthorn)

Ohio Women’s Basketball Falls Short In Defensive Battle With Eastern Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Ohio Bobcats (8-5,6-4 MAC) fell to the Eastern Michigan Eagles (9-6, 6-4) Wednesday night after a hard fought defensive battle in Ypsilanti, 69-66.

The score line was tight the whole game, but the Eagles led almost the whole time. Ohio’s largest lead of the game, one point, came once in the first quarter and again late in the fourth.

Eastern Michigan is the best defensive team in the MAC this season, and it showed against Ohio. The Eagles managed to hold the Bobcats to just 25 points at the half.

“They were fantastic,” Ohio coach Bob Boldon said in a postgame radio interview about Eastern Michigan’s defense . “They really stifled what we were trying to do.”

Ohio accelerated its offense in the third quarter, almost doubling its halftime score by putting up 19 points. However, the Eagles continued to soar and kept a three-point lead heading into the final quarter.

Senior Cece Hooks had a huge third quarter for the Bobcats, scoring a team high eight points. Hooks finished the night with a double-double, tallying 29 points and 11 rebounds.

“She gave us a chance tonight, we just weren’t able to capitalize,” Boldon said. “Her energy and effort gave us a chance, but it just wasn’t our night.”

The Bobcats kept cutting the lead down repeatedly in the fourth quarter, but small periods of offensive blunders allowed Eastern Michigan to close out the victory over Ohio.

“I thought we played a good game, just not good enough to win,” Boldon said.

Ohio will head back home for its second game in four days against Akron on Saturday, and Bob Boldon’s squad will hope to respond to this close loss with a victory over the Zips.  Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Bob Boldon talks to his team in the Bobcats’ game against Buffalo on Jan. 20, 2021. (WOUB/Nick Henthorn)