CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio women's basketball freshman guard Cierra Hooks was named the 2018 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the year, the league announced today. Hooks also earned a spot on the All-MAC Third Team, the All-Defensive Team and the All-Freshman Team. Fellow freshman Gabby Burris was also named to the All-Freshman Team.
Hooks (Dayton, Ohio), becomes the third Bobcat in program history to be named the MAC Freshman of the Year, with Rachel Frederick (2006) and Caroline Mast (1983) being the only other two. Hooks has filled up the Ohio recorded books on both sides of the ball this season, scoring a total of 400 points so far, which ranks her the second-highest scoring freshman in Bobcat history. She has also registered 99 steals, which makes her the Ohio Single Season Steals Leader. She has been named the MAC East Player of the Week twice and has registered two game-winning steals and layup this season, including one against Northern Illinois on Jan. 24. Hooks' two biggest days came in her first career starts. On Feb. 3 against Ball State, Hooks registered her first career double-double, scoring then a career-high 28 points and then grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds. She out did herself in the next game against MAC Regular Season Champion, Central Michigan. She scored a career-high 30 points, had six rebounds and grabbed a career-high nine steals. She also dished out a career-high eight assists against Kent State on Feb. 21.
Overall this season, the point guard has led the Bobcats, playing in 29 games and starting eight of them, while averaging 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 steals and had 12 blocks. She also shot .479 from the field and led the Bobcats in total rebounds with 139, including 50 offensive boards. Once conference play started, Hooks was even better, averaging 14.8 points per game in 25.9 minutes on the court. She also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 1.5 assists and shot .625 from the free throw line. Hooks also protects the ball well, only turning it over 35 times in 17 conference games. Hooks also led the MAC in steals and is eighth in the nation in the same category.
Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) also made the most of her freshman campaign. The forward has currently played in every game for the Bobcats this season, starting nine of them, getting her first career start on Feb. 3 against Ball State. Burris averaged 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds over the course of the season. Once the Bobcats entered conference play, Burris was even better, averaging 11.2 points per game and 5.2 rebounds in 27.7 minutes. In conference play, Burris has also registered seven blocks, with a total of nine coming during the course of the season. Burris also shot .408 from the field and .333 from three-point range. Burris scored a career-high 19 points against Ball State on Feb. 3 and scored in double figures in 18 games this season, including nine out of the last 10 games. She has also registered a career-high eight rebounds in a game, nine times this season.
Up next, the Bobcats head to Cleveland to take on fourth-seeded Miami in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 7. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. inside Quicken Loans Arena and can be seen on ESPN3.