Ohio Women’s Basketball: Fast Start, Hot Shooting Propel Bobcats to Dominant Victory over Zips< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio Bobcats have dawned the nickname, “The Cardiac Cats,” and after a heartbreaking 69-66 loss to Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, the Bobcats were looking for a little revival on Saturday afternoon when they played host to the Akron Zips.
The Bobcats started red-hot shooting from the field, starting the game on a 12-2 run and hitting their first eight of 10 3-point field goals from the field. The Bobcats would not look back after the first quarter, and they took home the victory 85-55.
CeCe Hooks had another impressive outing for the Bobcats, finishing with a team-high 31 points on 13-18 shooting from the field, including 4-5 from deep.
“I was comfortable and confident shooting (threes) today,” Hooks said. “Anytime Erica (Johnson) told me to shoot, I shot.”
Hooks also added five assists and five rebounds. The senior guard has been dominant as of late, averaging over 30 points per game in the last five games.
“She’s been so dialed in,” Head Coach Bob Bolden said. “Her efficiency and the tempo she has been playing with has been fantastic. I don’t know if I have ever experienced a five-game stretch like this before.”
Hooks wasn’t the only starter to score in double figures as she was joined by Erica Johnson and Gabby Burris.
Johnson finished with 12 points and five assists before going down with a left knee injury in the third quarter. She did make an attempt to return to play at the start of the fourth quarter, but Johnson called a timeout after realizing she was unable to play.
When Johnson went down with the injury in the third, senior forward Gabby Burris stepped her game up in a big way as she finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Other key contributors today were Caitlyn Kroll, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, and Kaylee Bambule, who made her presence felt on the defensive end.
The game wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Bobcats from start to finish. After jumping out to a 34-20 lead after the first quarter, turnovers and defensive breakdowns plagued the Bobcats’ game in the second quarter. Ohio finished with 12 first half turnovers, which wasn’t ideal. Coming into Saturday’s game, the Bobcats averaged 13 turnovers per game.
The Bobcats picked their game up defensively to start the fourth, outscoring the Zips 24-4 in the third quarter and extending their lead to 70-39.
“I thought we did a great job communicating,” Bolden said. “We forced some tough shots and we got the rebounds. It was solid defense.”
With the loss today, Akron falls to 4-9 (1-9) on the season. The Zips are in the middle of a five-game losing streak and will look to break it when they return to action next Wednesday against Buffalo.
For the Bobcats, this win improves their record to 9-5 (7-4). They currently sit seventh in the tight, middle pack of the MAC standings. Currently, the difference between third and seventh is separated by one game. Ohio is scheduled to return to action Wednesday against a Kent State team that hasn’t played since January 9. If the game were to be cancelled, Ohio’s next game wouldn’t be until next Saturday, February 6 when they travel to Bowling Green. Right now, the Bobcats plan to prepare for Kent State despite the uncertainties of their program.
“I have no idea what (Kent State’s) mindset will be coming in. I don’t know if they’ll come out like a ball of fire because they’re excited to finally play a basketball game, or if they’ll be a little rusty,” Bolden said. “Every team is different. I don’t know if that’s an advantage or disadvantage coming in.”