ATHENS, Ohio – Led by Amani Burke's 18 points, and a clutch three-pointer from Burke with 41 seconds left to seal the game, the Ohio women's basketball team (6-5) wrapped up nonconference play Thursday evening, defeating North Carolina A&T (4-7) 72-65 inside the Convocation Center.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED
Ohio opened the game to a 7-0 lead thanks to four free throws and a three-pointer from Burke (Columbus, Ohio).
NC A&T would cut the Ohio lead to 10-8 with 3:22 left in the first quarter before Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) would drain a three-pointer to give Ohio a five-point lead. Before the quarter was over, Katie Barker (Cary, Ill.) would register a fast break layup and then Burke would register a layup as time expired to give Ohio a 17-8 lead after the first 10 minutes.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) would drain two three-pointers to put Ohio up by 12 with 8:39 left. After Bower's three with 8:39 left in the second, the Bobcats would not score again until Burris broke the scoring drought at the 4:26 mark with a layup to give Ohio a 25-17 lead.
Kendall Jessing (Sylvania, Ohio) would follow Burris' score with a three-pointer with 4:04 left. Then with 1:30 left, Barker would drain a three-pointer to stretch the Ohio lead to 38-21. The Bobcats would lead 40-24 with 58 seconds left after Alexis Stover (Solon, Ohio) hit two free throws, however, the Aggies would close out the quarter with two free throws of their own, giving Ohio the 40-29 led at the half.
At the half, Burris led Ohio with nine points, followed by Burke who had eight.
Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) opened the third quarter with a three, however the Aggies would go on a 6-2 run to cut the Ohio lead to 44-36 with 6:53 left in the quarter. Ohio would increase their lead to 15 with 4:24 left with a three from Burke. Then after the Aggies cut that lead to 55-42, Burris would register another layup to give Ohio the 57-42 lead with 3:0-1 left in the quarter.
North Carolina A&T would then go on a 6-0 run over the final three minutes of the third quarter, sending the game to the final frame with the Bobcats leading 57-48.
NC A&T would refuse to go quietly and would cut the Ohio lead to five points with 8:24 left in the game before Doseck drained a three pointer to increase the Ohio lead to 60-52. After Hooks hit two free throws and registered a fast break layup, the Bobcats would lead 64-52 with 5:06 left.
The Aggies would then go on a 12-2 run, cutting the Ohio lead to 66-64 with 1:07 left. After Ohio called a timeout, the Bobcats would come out, setting up the clutch corner three-pointer from Burke with 41 seconds left, giving Ohio the 69-64 lead.
Hooks would then hit three free throws over the final 40 seconds, helping seal the Bobcats' 73-65 victory.
Burke finished the game with 18 points, going 5-of-10 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Burke also had three steals.
Hooks finished with 14 points, going 3-of-9 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. She also snagged a team-leading seven rebounds, dished out five assists and had four steals.
Burris had 11 points, going 4-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
Agler finished the game with five assists and two steals, and Barker also finished the game with four steals.
Overall, Ohio was 21-of-61 (.344) from the field, 12-of-39 (.308) from three-point range and 18-of-26 (.692) from the free throw line.
The Bobcats were even with the Aggies, with both teams grabbing 33 boards, however Ohio registered 17 offensive rebounds, compared to NC A&T's five.
The Bobcats also dished out 13 assists and forced the Aggies to turn the ball over 32 times, scoring 21 points off of those turnovers. The Bobcats also registered 22 steals.
North Carolina A&T went 25-of-41 (.610) from the field, 7-of-10 (.700) from three-point range and 8-of-16 (.500) from the free throw line. The Aggies also dished out 14 assists, had three blocks, nine steals and forced Ohio to turn the ball over 18 times.
Leading the Aggies was Cinia McCray with 23 points.
The Bobcat bench scored 33 points off the bench, had five second chance points and had six fast break points, while also scoring 18 points in the paint.
Ohio is now 1-1 all-time against NC A&T.
The Bobcats concluded nonconference play 6-5.
The win was head coach bob Boldon's 188th career win and 89th at Ohio. It was also the 553rd victory in program history.
This was the fourth time this season the Ohio has forced a team into 30-plus turnovers.
"I was thrilled with our rebounding numbers. They were fifth in the country in offensive rebounds. I'm thrilled with that. Rebounding has been a huge deficiency throughout this whole nonconference schedule. We knew that with the schedule that it was to help get ready for Toledo and that just seemed to be the one piece that was forever missing. We've been able to force turnovers and win that margin in almost every game, but we've been giving it back with our rebounding. To see that number, it shows me that we can. Now we have to continue to do it. But at least it shows me that we can and that's an encouraging thing for me to see." Head Coach Bob Boldon
"This really boosted our confidence with rebounding. We are not a good a rebounding team and they are a great rebounding team. For us to be able compete and rebound against them and force turnovers and just play out game, that helps us a lot. Being comfortable with those things makes it easier when we great ready to play Toledo and Central Michigan. And really just sticking to our principles." Amani Burke
The Bobcats remain in Athens to close out 2017 when Ohio opens Mid-American Conference play on Sunday, Dec. 31 when they play host to MAC West foe Toledo. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.