Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio – Behind a career-high 31 points from sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio), the Ohio women's basketball team (7-0) remained undefeated after an 80-73 win over Big Ten Conference foe Purdue (6-3) this evening at the Convocation Center.
"It feels great," said Hooks of putting together a career performance in the victory. "I'm really happy because my teammates kept me in it. They told me not to put my head down, and I just listened to them and kept playing."
The Bobcats beat the Boilermakers for the second year in a row and beat a Big Ten opponent at the Convo for the second time in the last three years. Ohio has started a season 7-0 for the second time in the last three years and third time in program history.
Ohio's win over Purdue was sparked by a second quarter that saw the Bobcats outscore the Boilermakers 26-9 to take a 41-26 lead into halftime. Purdue outscored Ohio by a 47-39 margin in the second half, but the Bobcats were able to hang on for the victory. Ohio shot 55 percent (11-of-20) with four three-pointers in the second quarter while limiting Purdue to just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from the floor.
Hooks led all scorers, going 11-of-20 from the field and 9-of-15 from the free throw line to record her second career game with at least 30 points. She also chipped in a team-high seven rebounds, a game-high five assists and a game-high five steals in 38 minutes. Senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) followed closely behind with 14 points by going 5-of-9 from the field -- including 4-of-6 from three-point range -- in 29 minutes before fouling out. Redshirt freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) and sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) both contributed 11 points for Ohio. Johnson added five rebounds in 31 minutes, and Burris chipped in three boards, an assist and a block in 39 minutes of action. Senior forward Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) added eight points and four rebounds while freshman forward Deesh Beck (Grand Rapids, Mich.) compiled seven rebounds to match Hooks for the team lead.
Ohio and Purdue traded baskets through the first five minutes of the first quarter to build to an eight-all tie. After a three-point basket by Purdue, Ohio dedicated to defense, forcing a shot clock violation that was followed by a blocked shot that led to a layup by Bower. Burris added a strong bucket under the basket, drawing a foul in the process, and capitalized on the free throw attempt to tie the game once again at 15 apiece. Purdue ended the quarter on a made jump shot to take a 17-15 lead as the clock ran out.
Two consecutive three-point baskets by Burris and Doseck opened the strong second quarter for Ohio and gave the Bobcats a 21-17 lead. Purdue answered with a three-point bucket, but Hooks countered by compiling six points on three layups -- one of which was a steal that resulted in a basket plus the foul -- to give Ohio a 27-20 lead with just over seven minutes to play. Doseck added her second of three triples for the quarter right before Burris drove down the lane for another layup that extended the Bobcats' lead to 34-21 with five minutes left in the second quarter. Ohio went on to outscore the Boilermakers by 7-5 count down the stretch to take a 41-26 lead as the half came to an end.
"I thought we were more aggressive," said sixth-year head coach Bob Boldon of Ohio's big second quarter. "Purdue is so good, and along with them being good comes a high level of athleticism. You always just wonder how it's going to work out. For the last month of the season, we've been able to drive in there and shoot over top of people, and today we couldn't. We got a little hesitant in the first quarter, but then we realized that's what we do, and we're going to have to do it. I thought they should a lot of toughness kind of regathering themselves, and I thought their aggressiveness in the second quarter was really, really good."
Doseck and Burris teamed up once again for a pair of back-to-back three-point baskets to kick off the second half, giving Ohio a 47-26 lead. Purdue, in an attempt to gain momentum, strung together a 15-5 run that brought the Boilermakers within 11, down 52-41, with five minutes left in the third quarter. With under two minutes to play, Bower and Hooks combined for seven points, but Purdue won the quarter, outscoring by a Ohio 28-21 count to bring the Ohio lead down to eight, 62-54, entering the fourth quarter.
Hooks strung together a 6-0 run that gave Ohio a 68-54 lead to start the fourth quarter, forcing a Purdue timeout with just over eight minutes remaining. Bower delivered a three-pointer, but Purdue was able to answer, keeping the Bobcats' lead at eight, 73-65, with just under four minutes to play. Purdue attempted a last-minute push, but the Bobcats were able to hold on for the seven-point win.
Junior guard Dominique Oden finished as the leading scorer for Purdue, recording a team-high 16 points after going 7-of-16 from the floor. She also added four rebounds, a game-high five assists, and a team-high two steals in 37 minutes of play. Junior forward Ae'Rianna Harris registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and also racked up a game-high eight blocks in 22 minutes of play. Sophomore guard Karissa McLaughlin also added 14 points and registered three rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. Sophomore guard Tamara Farquhar also achieved a double-double, compiling 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while also adding three blocks in 35 minutes. Freshman guard Kayana Traylor added seven points, a game-high five assists and a team-high two steals in 25 minutes for Purdue.
Ohio will play its final non-conference home game of the 2018-19 season on Saturday (Dec. 8), hosting Coppin State in a 1 p.m. ET matchup at the Convo.