ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio women's basketball team (6-0) plays host to Big Ten Conference foe Purdue (6-2) on Wednesday (Dec. 5) in a 7 p.m. ET showdown at the Convocation Center.
Fans who are unable to attend Wednesday'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 OFF TO THIRD 6-0 START IN FIVE YEARS
Ohio is off to its third 6-0 start in the last five years. With a win over the Boilermakers on Wednesday, the Bobcats would start a season 7-0 for the second time in the last three years and third time in program history.
Last Saturday (Dec. 1) at the Convo, Ohio fended off in-state foe Cleveland State, 72-54. Ohio shot 41 percent (26-of-63) from the field and converted 68 percent (13-of-19) of its attempts from the free throw line. The Bobcats held a decisive edge in points in the paint (38-20), points off turnovers (20-10) and steals (16-9) and forced Cleveland State to commit 28 turnovers -- the most by an Ohio opponent so far in 2018-19.
BURKE NAMED MAC EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week by the league office on Tuesday (Dec. 4). Burke, whose major is child and family studies, earned weekly conference honors for the first time in her career. She became the second Bobcat to be named MAC East Division Player of the Week.
Burke led all scorers with 17 points to help Ohio (6-0) beat Cleveland State, 72-54, last Saturday (Dec. 1) at the Convocation Center in Athens as the Bobcats improved to 6-0 to start a season for the third time in the last five years. She went 6-of-13 from the floor with four three-pointers. She also chipped in five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block in 31 minutes.
Burke currently ranks third on the team with 14.7 points per game and second with 2.5 steals per contest.
BOBCATS GO 2-0 AT DENVER THANKSGIVING CLASSIC
The Bobcats picked up a pair of victories in Colorado at the Denver Thanksgiving Classic.
Ohio knocked off St. Bonaventure, 70-53, on 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. Burke 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.
OHIO OPENS 2018-19 WITH THREE-STRAIGHT WINS AT THE CONVO
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.
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 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.
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. Last Saturday against Cleveland State, Burris contributed 14 points and added five rebounds and a steal.
Burris currently leads the team with 6.0 rebounds per game and ranks second on the squad with 15.5 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. The win over Cleveland State last Saturday saw Hooks finish with 15 points by going 5-of-11 from the field and sinking five of her seven free throw attempts. She also dished out three assists and compiled a game-high four steals and a game-high three blocks while adding five rebounds in 30 minutes.
Hooks, who is averaging a team-high 16.5 points per game so far this year, ranks 10th in the country in field goal percentage (63.8 percent; 37-of-58). She is also averaging 4.8 assists per contest to rank second on the team and leads the squad with 3.8 steals per game, which ranks ninth 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 six 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. Last Saturday in the win over Cleveland State, Johnson scored 14 points and added a team-high seven rebounds and a team-high four assists while compiling three steals.
Johnson currently ranks fourth on the squad with 11.5 points per game while leading Ohio with 5.7 assists per game and ranking second on the team with 5.3 boards per contest.
Despite a roster full of talanted underclassmen, Ohio's veterans are still making their presences felt for the Bobcats.
Burke 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.
The season-opening win over UNCW saw Doseck total 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes of work. Through six games this year, Doseck ranks fifth on the team with 10.3 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 Boldon, who was named the 10th head coach in program history on March 28, 2013.
Ohio has gone 106-58 (.646) 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 18 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.
Purdue enters Wednesday's matchup with Ohio with a 6-2 record. The Boilermakers closed out November by taking on a pair of top-25 ranked teams, falling to No. 2-ranked UConn, 86-40, on Nov. 24 but bouncing back with a 74-63 triumph over No. 1-ranked Miami five days later. Purdue is receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll.
The Boilermakers are led by 13th-year head coach Sharon Versyp, who owns a record of 262-149 during her tenure at Purdue.
Three Boilermakers are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Dominique Oden leads Purdue with 15 points per game while sophomore guard Karissa McLaughlin averages 14 points per contest. Junior forward Ae'Rianna Harris is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.1 points and a team-high 9.3 boards per game.
Ohio is 2-4 (.250) all-time against Purdue, but the Bobcats earned a 77-71 victory on Dec. 10, 2017, in West Lafayette, Ind., in the last meeting between two squads. The Boilermakers are making their fourth visit to the Convo are 3-0 in their three previous trips, most recently earning a 92-52 win on Dec. 12, 1998.
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.