KENT, Ohio – Led by Amani Burke's 20 points and another 16 points from Cierra Hooks, the Ohio women's basketball team defeated Mid-American Conference East foe Kent State, 78-65, Saturday afternoon inside the M.A.C. Center.
To go along with Burke's (Columbus, Ohio) 20 points and Hooks' (Dayton, Ohio) 16, Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) added 15 points and Katie Barker (Cary, Ill.) scored 12, while Kendall Jessing (Sylvania, Ohio) registered a career-high seven rebounds.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED
The Bobcats opened the game up with a layup from Hooks. After Kent State would take a 3-2 lead, Hooks would register four-straight points after steals to give Ohio the 6-3 lead with 6:34 left.
After Kent State took a 10-9 lead, a Barker three-pointer would start a 10-2 run for Ohio, giving them the 19-11 lead with 2:12 left in the quarter. Burke would then hit a three and then close out with a layup, giving the Bobcats a 21-12 lead after the first 10 minutes.
Hooks would open up the second quarter with a layup, giving Ohio a 10-point lead in the opening seconds. After Burris and Kent State traded threes, the Flashes would get another layup to cut the Bobcat lead to 28-24 with 5:03 left.
Burris would drain two free throws with 1:35 left, putting Ohio up 30-24. After Kent State would cut the Ohio lead to two with one minute left, Barker would drain another three to give the Bobcats a 33-28 lead going into the half.
Just as she did in the previous two quarters, Hooks registered a layup in the opening seconds to give the Bobcats a 35-28 lead. Burris would come back down the court moments later with a jumper, giving the Bobcats a nine-point lead at the 9:02 mark.
Kent State would cut the lead back to two with 6:45 left in the game, but another clutch three from Barker would put the Bobcats up 40-35. The Bobcats would take a six-point lead after a three from Burke with 3:54 left in the quarter, putting the Bobcats up 45-39.
The Flashes would get the Ohio lead down to 49-46 with 1:11 left, but Burris would get a layup and get fouled on the play, putting Ohio up 52-46 with a minute left. Hooks would get another layup, but Kent State would respond at the buzzer, making the score 54-48 going into the final quarter.
Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) drained a three-pointer in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, putting the Bobcats up 57-49 with 8:45 left. Hooks would add another jumper before the Flashes would cut the lead to 59-54 with 5:26 left in the game.
Ohio would talk a six-point lead again before KSU cut the lead to four, in which Barker would respond with another three, giving Ohio a 63-56 lead with 4:36 left. The after free throws from Burke and a layup and a free throw from Burris, the Bobcats would take a 68-56 lead, their largest of the day, with 2:32 remaining.
Kent State would only cut the lead to as close as nine during the rest of the game, and after the Bobcats took a 15-point lead on free throws from Taylor Agler (Westerville, Ohio), the Flashes would get one final layup at the buzzer, giving Ohio the 78-65 road victory.
Burke scored 20 points, going 6-of-12 from the field, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. She also had six rebounds, three blocks and one steal.
Hooks added 16 points, going 8-of-16 from the field, while grabbing one rebounds, dished out one assist and had three steals.
Burris scored 15 points, going 4-of-8 from the field, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 6-of-8 from the field. She also grabbed three rebounds.
Barker added 12 points, going 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Agler finished the game with eight points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out a team-high eight assists.
As a team, the Bobcats were 25-of-55 (.455) from the field, 9-of-26 (.346) from three-point range and 19-of-22 (.864) from the free throw line.
The Bobcats out rebounded the Flashes, 34-33. They also dished out 14 assists, had four blocks and seven steals.
Ohio forced Kent State to turn the ball over 20 times and scored 16 points off of the turnovers. The also scored 26 points in the paint, 16 fast break points and 30 bench points.
Jordan Korinek led Kent State with 21 points, followed by McKenna Stephens with 14.
As a team, Kent State was 22-of-57 (.386) from the field, 4-of-10 (.400) from three-point range and 17-of-23 (.739) from the free throw line.
The Flashes dished out 15 assists, had five blocks and seven steals and forced Ohio to turn the ball over 20 times and scored 15 points off of them.
KSU scored 24 points in the paint, 12 fast break points and 12 points in the paint.
The Bobcats picked up their 31st all-time victory over the Flashes and snapped a two-game losing streak against KSU.
The victory was head coach Bob Boldon's 195th career victory and 96th at Ohio.
Ohio now has 13 wins in a season for the fourth-straight season and the 18th time in program history. They now have seven wins in MAC play for the fourth-straight season and the 19th time in program history.
It is the 560th victory in program history and the 293rd conference win.
"We usually end up talking about toughness in this situation, and I'll just start with it. We played a gross second quarter offensively and we rebounded from that. We showed the right balance of patience and aggressiveness. They finished it. Down the stretch they hit their free throws when they needed to make free throws, they handled pressure well. I was proud of them for that." – Head Coach Bob Boldon
"It's just nice to have Amani out there in general. You like to think, she's back so she's back. Well, she's back, but she's missed a full week of practice. That's significant at this time, especially when you're a kid that shoots the ball and has honed in on that skill. It's nice to have her back." - Head Coach Bob Boldon
Up next, the Bobcats remain on the road when they head to Ypsilanti, Mich. on Wednesday, Feb. 14 to take on Eastern Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.