ATHENS, Ohio – Behind a record-breaking 11 three-point baskets by junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio), the Ohio Women's Basketball team (18-2, 7-2 MAC) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Convocation Center with a 94-62 victory over Ball State (7-13, 2-6 MAC) this afternoon. The Bobcats compiled a total of 17 three-point baskets, tying The Convo arena record for most threes in a game by one team.
"That was amazing, because I got to see the last one," head coach Bob Boldon said on Burke's record setting night. "It was amazing because I got to see Kiyanna (Black) make 10 and that was amazing. I thought making 10 threes at 50.0 percent was pretty good until I saw a kid make 11-of-15. It was incredible. Part of the strength of our team is we can put so many kids in double figures. That all went out the window when Burke started rolling. Obivously Cece (Hooks) had 12 assists so a bunch came from that."
Burke was 11-of-16 from the field and 11-of-15 from behind the arc for a game-high and career-high 33 total points in her 23 minutes of work. Her 11 three-point baskets tied the Mid-American Conference record and a new Ohio record for three-pointers made in a game. The Columbus, Ohio native was one three-pointer shy of tying the NCAA record. She also chipped in six rebounds and a steal.
"As a coach, it's an exciting thing to be a part of," Boldon added. "It wasn't just Amani Burke out hunting shots tonight. It was a team effort. It often came after two or three passes. It was a drive and kick out. She obviously deserves credit for making them. To make them at the rate she made them tonight was incredible. It was very much a team effort to get her those shots."
Burke's teammates were behind her the entire game.
"I knew I was hot but I didn't' think I would continue to get shots," Burke said. "In the third I Cece (Hooks) told me I had nine threes. I had no idea I was going to break a record. I can't really describe the feeling. The shots kept going in naturally. My teammates just told me, "keep shooting."
Not to be overlooked, ophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) followed closely behind with 26 points and a game-high 12 assists in her double-double performance. Hooks was 12-of-17 from the field and compiled a game-high seven steals and team-high seven rebounds in her 26 minutes of play.
Freshman forward Deesh Beck (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added 10 points, six rebounds and a steal in her 19 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) and redshirt-freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) both contributed five assists for the Bobcats. Burris added five points in her 19 minutes of play while Johnson added two steals and two rebounds in her 22 minutes of play.
As a team, Ohio shot 52.2 percent (35-of-67) from the field and 46.0 percent (17-of-37) from three-point range. Ohio earned 36 of their points in the paint and 32 off of turnovers compared to Ball State who earned 28 points in the paint and only 12 off of turnovers. The Ohio bench outscored the Ball State bench 27-14. The Bobcats held Ball State to 47.8 percent (22-of-46) shooting and 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from deep. Ohio outrebounded Ball State 34 to 31.
Ohio jumped out to an early 5-0 lead to begin the game with a steal and conversion by Hooks that was followed by a three-point basket by Burke. After Ball State strung together a pair of baskets, Burke hit her second three-point basket of the game to stretch the lead to 8-4. A Ball State basket was answered by Burris who knocked down an early three of her own and a basket by Beck to give the Bobcats a 13-6 lead with 5:38 remaining in the opening quarter. Burke registered her third three-point basket of the quarter that was followed by a strong drive and basket by Beck giving Ohio a 18-7 lead. Ohio and Ball State traded baskets until redshirt-freshman guard Kaylee Bambule (Plainfield, Ill.) hit a three-point bomb that was paired with a steal and basket by Hooks that stretched the lead to 25-13 with just over a minute remaining. Ball State would convert a jumper for a pair of points however, Burke would answer with her fourth three-point basket of the quarter with under a minute remaining. Ball State made the final basket of the quarter with 13 seconds remaining, but Ohio remained ahead 28-16 headed into the second quarter.
The Bobcats were led by Burke with 12 points in the first quarter going 4-of-4 from behind the arc, matching her career-high, while Ohio shot 11-of-19 from the field.
Burke began the second quarter adding another three-point basket, setting a new career-high, that gave Ohio its largest lead of the game ahead 31-16. After a 4-1 run by Ball State, a technical foul led to an Ohio made free throw that was followed by a steal and the basket by Hooks. Hooks added another quick basket that extended the Bobcat lead to 37-20 with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Beck added back-to-back baskets that was coupled with a three-point basket by senior forward Olivia Bower (Bowerstown, Ohio) and a basket by Hooks for a 9-0 Ohio run resulting in a 46-21 lead. With three-minutes remaining in the half, senior forward Kendall Jessing (Sylvania, Ohio) added a basket however Ball State compiled eight points shrinking the Ohio advantage to 48-29 at half-time.
Ohio outscored Ball State 20-13 in the second quarter as Ohio went 8-of-20 from the field compared to Ball State who went 5-of-11 from the field. For the half, Ohio forced 16 turnovers, nine being steals, resulting in 18 points compared to Ball State who forced only four turnovers for two points. Ohio has also added 16 points off the bench compared to four for Ball State.
Ball State was first to score in the opening quarter of the second half however, Burke answered with back-to-back three-point baskets that resulted in a 54-33 advantage for the Bobcats. Ball State responded with a 5-0 run which forced Ohio to take a timeout with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. Burke entered the Ohio University record book with her eighth three-point basket of the game that was followed by a basket by Burris. Ball State and Ohio traded baskets until senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) hit a three-point basket that started a 12-0 run for the Bobcats. Burke was not done with eight as she added two more three-point baskets to contribute to the Bobcat third-quarter run, ahead 74-43. With under one-minute remaining, Burke recorded her 11th three-point basket of the game which set a new school record and a new Mid-American Conference record. Bambule, with the icing on the cake, added her second three-point basket of the game that gave Ohio an 83-48 advantage to end the third-quarter.
Ohio went 13-of-16 from the field for 35 points compared to Ball State who went 6-of-12 from the field for 19 points in the third quarter. Burke had 18 for the quarter going 6-of-7 from behind the arc.
Hooks opened the fourth quarter with a three-point bucket that tied the Convocation record for three-point baskets made in a game. Hooks added another quick basket that brought the Ohio lead to 88-50 with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. Ball State went on a 5-0 run as the fourth quarter approached the five-minute mark. Jessing, swift on her feet, added a basket that gave the Bobcats a 90-55 lead. Beck added a pair of free-throws to extend the lead to 92-55 with just over three-minutes remaining. Ball State a pair of free-throws and a three-point basket as the one-minute mark approached. Ohio and Ball State both converted a set of free-throws to end the fourth quarter resulting in a 94-62 victory for the Bobcats.
Ball State outscored Ohio 14-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats will wrap up their three-game homestand on Wednesday (Feb. 6) at 7 p.m. against the Zips of Akron (12-6, 3-4 MAC) inside the Convocation Center.