ATHENS, Ohio— Freshman guard Cierra Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) got her first career double-double with in her first career start, scoring 28 points, and grabbing 11 rebounds in a game where the Bobcats never trailed, as the Ohio women's basketball team (12-9, 6-4 MAC) defeated Mid0American Conference West foe Ball State (18-4, 7-4 MAC) 80-76 Saturday afternoon inside the Convocation Center.
Freshman forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio), who made her first start at Ohio, scored 19 points while going 5-of-9 from the field, with eight rebounds, one steal, and one assist. Redshirt sophomore guard Katie Barker (Cary, Ill.) had 10 points, and one rebound, while junior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) followed with nine points, three rebounds, and two assists.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED
Burris would get the first two points for the Bobcats, on a layup off an assist from Doseck with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter. A minute later, Doseck would get a three-pointer, unassisted with 7:01 left in the first to give Ohio an early 5-0 lead of the Cardinals. The Bobcats would keep the lead for the rest of the first half on play.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Barker and Doseck assisted by redshirt senior guard Taylor Agler (Westerville, Ohio) left the score at 11-2 with 5:44 left in the first period. Hooks would get a steal with under a minute remaining in the first quarter and go coast-to-coast for a layup, making the score 21-8. At the end of the first quarter the Bobcats would have a 22-8 lead over Ball State.
Junior forward Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) would start the second quarter scoring for Ohio with an easy jumper to lengthen the lead to 24-8. With 6:59 remaining in the first half, Doseck would get a three-pointer assisted by Burris to make the score 29-10. Barker got another three, assisted by Agler to make the score 34-12 with 4:01 in the first half.
At halftime, Ohio still had the commanding 39-20 lead. Hooks led the Bobcats with 10 points and six rebounds, followed by Doseck with nine, and Barker with seven. Agler had 5 assists in the first half. In the first half Ohio shot 13-of-29 (44.8%) from the field.
Three straight field goals from Ball State in the opening minutes of the third quarter would cut the Bobcats lead to 39-28. The Cardinals would edge toward Ohio with a three-point play to make the score 41-34 with 4:15 to go in the third period. Burris followed with two straight threes to make it 49-41 with 2:53 left in the first. Another three came shortly from Barker, with Bower picking up the assist, increasing the Bobcats lead 52-43.
As Ball State tried to inch closer to the Bobcats lead, Alexis Stover (Solon, Ohio) got a layup to keep Ohio up 54-49 at the end of the third quarter.
Bower opened up the fourth period with a layup making it 56-49 with 9:48 left. Burris drained another three with 8:06 remaining in the game as Bobcats still led 59-54. The Cardinals were able to get two straight layups to tie the score for the first time at 59-59 with 7:07 to go in the game. Ohio then went on an 8-0 run beginning with two layups from Hooks, followed by a three from Bower assisted by Hooks put Ohio back on top 66-60 with 5:28 left. The Bobcats maintained that lead for 2:56 before Ball State scored a three to make it 69-63 with 2:38 to play in the game.
Two free-throws form Hooks would put Ohio up 75-66 with one minute left in the quarter. The Cardinals would get two consecutive layups with under a minute to play, but free-throws from Hooks would keep Ohio in the lead 80-74 with 19 seconds to go.
Ohio was able to keep the lead for the remainder of the game and came out with the 80-76 victory over the Cardinals.
Hooks recorded a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in the victory, going 8-of-17 from the field, and 12-of-19 from the free throw line in her 33 minutes of play.
Burris also had a career-high with 19 points and tied her Ohio record of eight boards.
Barker went 3-of-8 from the field, 3-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 1-of-2 from the charity stripe, scoring 10 points, and grabbing one rebound.
Doseck had nine points, going 3-of-8 from the field, 3-of-7 from the three-point line, while also totaling three rebounds and two assists.
Bower went 3-of-5 from the field in her 15 minutes of play, and 1-of-1 from the three-point line while scoring a career-high seven points with one assist, and one steal.
Stover totaled four points, four rebounds, and one assist while shooting 2-of-5.
The score was tied once, for 2:10, before Ohio would reclaim the lead without looking back.
As a team, the Bobcats shot 24-of-56 (.429) from the field, 10-of-24 (.417) from three-point range, and 22-of-37 (.595) from the free throw line.
For Ball State, Oshlynn Brown scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, followed by Destiny Washington with 15, and Nakeya Penny with 12.
The Cardinals shot 24-of-66 (.364) from the field, 4-of-25 (.160) from the three-point range and 24-of-35 (.686) from the free throw line.
Ball State also grabbed 45 rebounds, 11 assists, six steals and two blocks. The Cardinals also added 36 points in the paint, 30 bench points, and 22 second chance points.
Ball State also had eight fast break points compared to the Bobcats four.
The last time Ohio scored 80 points was Jan. 25, 2017 when they beat Western Michigan 80-67.
This win was the 35th all-time against Ball State.
This win was head coach Bob Boldon's 194th career victory and his 95th at Ohio.
This win is the 559th in program history and the 292nd MAC win.
Ohio now has 12 wins in the season for the fourth-straight year and the fourth time under Bob Boldon.
This is the 19th time in program history that Ohio had had at least 12 wins in a season and is the 23rd time in program history that the Bobcats have won at least six games in MAC play.
This is Ohio's fifth-straight victory against the Cardinals.
The Bobcats stay in Athens when Ohio hosts MAC-leading Central Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center and can be seen on ESPN3.