ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio women's basketball team (5-0) will put its unbeaten record on the line on Saturday (Dec. 1) when it hosts Cleveland State (3-4) in a 1 p.m. ET matchup at the Convocation Center.
The contest will be part of a basketball doubleheader day at the Convo, with the Ohio men's basketball team playing host to longtime rival Marshall at 3:30 p.m. Click here for ticket information or call 1-800-575-CATS (2287). Mention insomnia cookies. The first 500 students in attendance for the doubleheader will receive free Insomnia Cookies and a free Ohio water bottle.
Fans who are unable to attend Saturday's contest can watch a live stream of the game on ESPN+, with Marty Bannister and Toni Roesch on the call. The game will be broadcast on the radio on WOUB-AM 1340, with Jake Hromada and Gabe Genovesi calling the action. The radio broadcast will also be available on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet.
OHIO TAKES AIM AT THIRD 6-0 START IN FIVE YEARS
Ohio will be looking to start a season 6-0 for the third time in the last five years.
Last weekend, the Bobcats picked up a pair of victories in Colorado at the Denver Thanksgiving Classic.
Ohio knocked off St. Bonaventure, 70-53, last Friday (Nov. 23). The Bobcats shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the floor and knocked down 10 three-pointers while limiting the Bonnies to just 34 percent (18-of-53) from the field. Ohio outrebounded St. Bonaventure, 35-32, and turned 19 turnovers by the Bonnies into 20 points. Senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) led all scorers with a season-high 19 points, going 6-of-12 from the field with five treys and hitting two of her three free throw attempts. Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) went 5-of-9 from the floor with a pair of triples and made all six of her free throw attempts to tally 18 points. Sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) logged 13 points after converting six of her 10 shots and also added five assists and a game-high four steals.
The following day, Burris achieved her first career double-double with a career-high 25 points and a career-high 10 rebounds as Ohio used a big second half to beat Lamar, 87-62. The Bobcats led the Cardinals by just five at halftime, 32-27, but outscored Lamar by a 52-35 count over the final 20 minutes of play. Ohio made 29 of its 36 free throw attempts in the victory -- including 12-of-14 in the fourth quarter. Burris went 8-of-15 from the field with two three-pointers and sank seven of her eight free throw attempts. She matched her career high for field goals made and set a new career high for free throws made. She also added two assists and a block. Four other Bobcats finished in double figures in the victory. Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) shot 6-of-11 from the floor and made all four of her free throw attempts to tally 16 points. Doseck scored 15 points, making four treys and three free throws to finish in double figures for the second game in a row. Burke and Doseck tied for the team lead with three steals apiece. Hooks made three field goals and knocked down eight of her 10 free throw tries en route to 14 points. She also logged six rebounds and two steals. Freshman forward Deesh Beck (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished in double figures for the first time in her career with 10 points. Burke and Beck tied for second on the team with seven rebounds apiece.
The Bobcats moved to 3-0 for the fourth time in the last five seasons by dictating the court in a 100-60 win over Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 18 at the Convocation Center. The contest marked the first time Ohio has scored at least 100 points in a game since a 101-73 win at Akron on Feb. 20, 2016. The Bobcats shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the field -- including 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range. Ohio held a decisive edge in points in the paint (44-16), fastbreak points (28-5), points off turnovers (24-12) and bench points (38-21). Ohio tallied 20 assists for the second game in a row.
The Bobcats dominated the final 20 minutes of play in an 86-49 rout of Binghamton on Nov. 15 at the Convocation Center. The Bobcats outscored the Bearcats 49-16 in the second half. Ohio recorded 20 assists on 32 made field goals -- the most in a game for the program since tallying 20 in a 77-75 victory over Northern Illinois on Jan. 24, 2018. The Bobcats limited Binghamton to just 3-of-8 shooting over the final 20 minutes -- including just one made three-pointer.
Ohio opened the 2018-19 season with a 95-72 victory over UNCW on Nov. 11 at the Convo. The Bobcats improved to 5-1 in season openers under head coach Bob Boldon -- including 2-0 in openers played at the Convo. Ohio shot 56.1 percent (32-of-57) from the floor and sank 77.8 percent (21-of-27) of its free throw attempts. The Bobcats tallied 14 steals and forced the Seahawks to commit 26 turnovers, turning them into 29 points.
BURRIS NAMED MAC EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Burris was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week on Nov. 13. Burris, whose major is undeclared, earned weekly conference honors for the first time in her career. Burris scored a career-high 23 points to lead Ohio to the win over UNCW. She shot 8-of-15 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, and made all four of her free throw attempts. She also chipped in five rebounds and a steal in 35 minutes of action.
In the win over Binghamton, Burris did not score, but Ohio was +35 with her on the floor. She tallied a career-high four steals in the victory. She then finished with 13 points off of four made field goals and five made free throws and hauled in a team-high seven boards in the win over Eastern Kentucky.
Burris currently leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game and ranks second on the squad with 15.8 points per game.
Burris earned a spot on the MAC All-Freshman Team in 2017-18. She averaged 10.2 points per game in her rookie campaign to rank third on the team and 4.4 boards per game to rank second.
HUNGRY FOR MORE
Hooks represented Ohio on the 2018-19 Preseason All-MAC East Division Team. Hooks is coming off a rookie season in which she was named MAC Freshman of the Year and earned sports on both the All-MAC Third Team and MAC All-Freshman Team. She averaged a team-high 13.5 points per game and became the second-highest scoring freshman in program history with 406 points. She broke Ohio's single-season record with 100 steals (3.3 per game) and led the Bobcats with 4.8 rebounds per game.
Hooks made seven of her nine field goals attempts en route to a 16-point performance in the 2018-19 season opener against UNCW. She then led all scorers with 20 points off of a career-high nine made field goals in the victory over Binghamton. She also chipped in eight rebounds, a game-high seven assists and two steals in 23 minutes. Hooks topped her performance against Binghamton with a season-high 21 points off of 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe in the victory over Eastern Kentucky.
Hooks, who is averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game so far this year, ranks sixth in the country in field goal percentage (68.1 percent; 32-of-47). She is also averaging 5.2 assists per contest to rank second on the team and leads the squad with 3.4 steals per game, which ranks 12th in the country.
BURSTING ONTO THE SCENE
Redshirt freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) has been an impactful presence off of the bench for Ohio through five games in 2018-19. Johnson, who redshirted the 2017-18 campaign, finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 25 minutes off of the bench her collegiate debut in the season opener against UNCW. She then continued her strong start to her collegiate career, making six shots -- including five triples -- to record a career-high 19 points against Binghamton. She also hauled in a career-high nine rebounds and dished out a six assists in 28 minutes off of the bench. Johnson made it two games in a row with 19 points in the win over Eastern Kentucky, going 6-of-8 from the field with a pair of treys and sinking all five of her free throw attempts. She also distributed a career-high eight assists.
Johnson currently ranks fifth on the squad with 11.0 points per game while leading Ohio with 6.0 assists per game and ranking third on the team with 5.0 boards per contest.
Burke is averaging 14.2 points per game through five contests in 2018-19 to rank third on the team. She finished with 20 points in the season-opening win over UNCW, then tallied 14 points in the victory over Binghamton. In the win over Eastern Kentucky, Burke scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting -- including three treys. Burke also ranks second on the team with 2.4
The season-opening win over UNCW saw Doseck total 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes of work. Through five games this year, Doseck ranks fourth on the team with 11.8 points per game.
In the win over Binghamton, senior forward Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) set a new career high with 13 points after making a career-high four field goals -- including a trey -- and sinking a career-high four free throws. She also achieved career highs with five rebounds, two assists and a game-high two blocks in 23 minutes of action.
SEASON SIX UNDER BOLDON
The Bobcats are in their sixth season under the direction of head coach Bob Boldon, who was named the 10th head coach in program history on March 28, 2013.
Ohio has gone 105-58 (.644) with Boldon at the helm of the program. His .644 winning percentage is the highest of any head coach in the history of Ohio women's basketball, and he needs 19 more wins to surpass Marsha Reall (123; 1990-99) for the most in program history.
Boldon led Ohio to back-to-back MAC regular season titles in 2015 and '16. The Bobcats won the MAC tournament crown in 2015 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995. Ohio participated in the WNIT in both 2016 and '17 and advanced to the third round in '16.
MEET THE COACHING STAFF
Tavares Jackson has been an assistant coach on Bob Boldon's Ohio staff for six years. Marwan Miller is in his third season on Boldon's staff as an assistant coach and fifth overall after serving as the program's director of operations for the 2013-14 and '14-15 seasons.
Steph Hass is the team's new assistant coach after spending the last two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast as a video coordinator following a four-year playing career with the Eagles. Tia Jameson is in her fourth season as Ohio's director of operations. Ohio familiar face will be on the Ohio bench as a graduate assistant this season as Kiyanna Black returns to the Bobcats following a stellar playing career in Athens in which she racked up 1,724 career points -- the third-most in the history of the program.
A LOOK BACK AT 2017-18
Ohio is coming off of a 2017-18 season in which it finished 16-15 overall and 9-9 in conference play. The No. 5-seeded Bobcats topped Akron, 85-73, in the MAC Tournament First Round before falling to No. 4-seeded Miami, 69-66, in the quarterfinals. Ohio has advanced to the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals each of the last three seasons.
BOBCATS PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN MAC EAST
Ohio was picked to finish third in the MAC East Division in the league's 2018-19 preseason coaches' poll, which was announced by the league office on Wednesday (Oct. 31). The Bobcats earned three of the MAC East Division's 12 first-place votes and finished with 57 points. Ohio also received one vote to win the 2019 MAC regular season title.
SCOUTING CLEVELAND STATE
Cleveland State owns a record of 3-4 heading into Saturday's matchup after going 0-2 at the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament. The Vikings suffered an 83-82 setback to host San Diego last Friday, then dropped an 81-72 decision to Tulane on Saturday.
The Vikings are led by first-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier. Cleveland State was picked to finish eighth of 10 teams in the Horizon League Preseason Poll.
Junior guard Jade Ely is the leading scorer for the Vikings, averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game. Junior guard Mariah Miller averages 15.7 points per game, which ranks second on the team. Freshman forward Savanna Crockett averages a double-double with 11.7 points and a team-high 10.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Mariah White is also averaging double digits in scoring with 10.3 points per game.
Ohio leads the all-time series against Cleveland State, 16-9 (.640). The Bobcats scored 29 fourth-quarter points after trailing by 25 points with 1:02 to go in the third quarter but ultimately fell to Cleveland State, 71-64, in the last meeting between the two teams, which was played on Dec. 6, 2017, at the Wolstein Center.
Ohio continues its three-game homestand next Wednesday (Dec. 5) when it welcomes Big Ten Conference foe Purdue. The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.