ATHENS, Ohio -- Coming off the bench, sophomore guard Kiyanna Black (Columbus, Ohio) scored a career-high 35 points -- including eight three-pointers -- to help the Ohio women's basketball team (1-0) outduel Xavier (0-1), 94-88, in the 2013-14 season opener Sunday at the Convocation Center.
The victory is Ohio's fourth consecutive win in a season-opener and marks the first time they surpassed 90 points in a regular season game since 2008 (Western Michigan). The win marked the first of head coach Bob Boldon's tenure with the Bobcats.
The Bobcats led the Musketeers in rebounds, 41-34, and in bench points, 41-15. Ohio tallied 21 points off turnovers and shot 47.6% from the field.
Black's eight treys tied her with Cathy Zsall for second-most in a single game in school history. She shot 11-for-19 from the field.
Freshman forward Destini Cooper (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) posted a double-double in her Bobcat debut, tallying 17 points and grabbing a game-high 12 boards.
Junior guard Mariah Byard (Mannington, W.Va.) fired three three-pointers in the victory to finish with 16 points. She also dished out four assists.
Sophomore forward Lexie Baldwin (Hattiesburg, Miss.) compiled 10 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Xavier led the majority of the first half, but Ohio never trailed by more than seven points and cut the Musketeers' lead to three at halftime, 41-38.
The Bobcats came out aggressively in the early minutes of the second half. A three-pointer by Black brought Ohio within one point, 49-48 at the 15:36 mark. Sophomore guard Kat Yelle (Geneva, Ill.) connected on two free throws to give the Bobcats a 50-49 lead with 14:30 remaining.
In the next four minutes, Ohio hit three three-pointers on a 20-7 run to put them up 70-56. Xavier responded with an 8-0 run to bring the Musketeers within six points with 8:47 to go.
Ohio held strong in the closing minutes. The `Cats did not let their lead shrink below four for the remainder of the game. Xavier cut Ohio's lead down to four at 91-87 with 40 seconds remaining, but Black converted three free throws to clinch the win for the Bobcats.
Ohio improves to 6-1 all-time record against Xavier
Senior guard Shatyra Hawkes led Xavier with 26 points and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Jenna Crittendon added 25 points and nine rebounds for the Musketeers.
Ohio takes to the road for the first of six straight games away from Athens, visiting Morehead State on Saturday. The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.