ATHENS, Ohio – Behind a double-double performance by redshirt freshman forward Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio), the Ohio Women's Basketball team (19-2, 8-2 MAC) wrapped up its three-game homestand by defeating Akron (12-8, 3-6 MAC), 92-70, on Wednesday night inside the Convocation Center.
"This team has generally been very unselfish," head coach Bob Boldon said. "They're very supportive of each other. They really have a sense of who has it going, taking good shots, and moving it to get good shots. This team has taken the highest quality of shots they've taken in a long time. It's been really team-oriented and really willing to pass it to the next person if she's open. I think that's probably one of their best qualities offensively."
Johnson was 7-of-13 from the field and 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line for a team-high 22 points. She also compiled a game-high 11 rebounds, a team-high five assists and two steals in her 32 minutes of work. Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) followed closely behind with 21 points going 5-of-7 from the field.
"I thought she (Gabby Burris) did a good job of being patient," Boldon added. "She started dribbling into some people early and passed and kind of backed it out. I thought she was excellent tonight as far as picking and choosing when to be aggressive and when to attack. Obviously she shot the ball well from both the three-point line and the foul line. We're a better team when she's on the floor, there's no doubt about that."
She added three assists and a steal in her 28 minutes of play. Junior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) recorded 16 points and a team-high five assists, two blocks and two steals in her 21 minutes of play while sophomore guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) added 15 points, six rebounds and an assist. Senior guard Dominique Doseck (Athens, Ohio) added eight points, two assists, and a steal in her 12 minutes of play.
As a team, Ohio shot 45.6 percent (31-of-68) from the field and 42.4 percent (14-of-33) from three-point range compared to Akron who shot 46.4 percent (26-of-56) from the field and 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from three-point range. Ohio earned 34 of their points in the paint and 17 off of turnovers compared to Akron who earned 26 points in the paint and 15 off of turnovers. The Bobcats compiled 11 steals and 19 assists compared to the Zips who compiled only six steals and 14 assists. Ohio outrebounded Akron 42 to 31 including 14 offensive rebounds compared to four for the Zips.
Although Akron was first on the scoreboard, Burke continued her hot streak from downtown answering with a quick three-point basket and an aggressive lay-up basket to the basket that gave Ohio a 5-2 early advantage. Doseck added a three-point basket of her own shortly after that extended the Ohio lead to 8-2 with just over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. Akron responded with back-to-back baskets to pull within one but, Burke answered with a lay-up basket and the foul that extended the Bobcat advantage to four, 11-7. Johnson compiled a pair of three-point baskets around a layup basket by Burris to stretch the Ohio advantage to 19-9 and forced an Akron timeout with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Out of the timeout, Hooks added her first points of the game that was then followed by another three-point basket by Johnson, her third of the quarter. Hooks and Johnson continued to stretch the Ohio advantage with two-points each that gave the Bobcats a 28-9 lead with just under two-minutes remaining in the first quarter. Akron was able to score after a four-minute drought with just over a minute remaining in the quarter to end the 17-0 Ohio run, down 28-11. Akron scored once more to cut the Ohio advantage to 15, down 28-13 to end the first quarter.
The Bobcats were led by Johnson with 11 points in the first quarter going 3-of-5 from the field including 3-of-3 from behind the arc and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. Ohio as a team shot 10-of-21 from the field – 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Ohio more than doubled Akron in total rebounds with 14 compared to 6 for Akron.
"We really had a great game Saturday," Johnson said. "Energy wise, we felt good and we wanted to come out just like we did against Ball State and carry it over. It showed in the first five minutes of the first quarter today."
Burris opened the second quarter adding two points that was followed by a basket by Burke to give Ohio a 32-13 advantage. Ohio and Akron traded baskets keeping Ohio ahead, 37-20, as the clock approached the five-minute mark in the second quarter. Akron went on a 6-2 run that cut the Ohio lead to 39-28 with just under three-minutes remaining in the half, however Hooks drilled a three-point basket that was followed by a pair of free-throw conversions by Burris that extended the lead to 44-28 with just over a minute to play. Ohio and Akron both registered a three-point basket to end the half that gave Ohio a 47-31 advantage at half-time.
It was a more evenly matched second quarter as Ohio went 6-of-16 from the field for 19 points compared to Akron who went 6-of-16 from the field for 18 points. For the half, Ohio compiled 25 total rebounds including nine offensive rebounds, 16 points in the paint and 10 assists compared to Akron who compiled 17 total rebounds with only three being offensive, 12 points in the paint and eight steals. Ohio also compiled six steals compared to four for Akron.
Ohio and Akron traded baskets to open the third quarter however, Akron was first to combine a pair of baskets together that pulled the Zips within 11, trailing 51-40 with seven minutes remaining. Doseck and Johnson combined for four points from the free-throw line just before Burris converted a three-point basket that forced an Akron timeout halfway through the third quarter. Johnson registered a basket that was followed by a pair of free-throws by Burris that gave Ohio a 62-40 advantage, on an 11-0 run, with under four minutes to play in the third quarter. Akron compiled a 13-4 run that shrunk the Ohio lead to 66-53 with under two-minutes remaining. Ohio and Akron traded baskets to end the third-quarter which resulted in a 69-56 advantage for the Bobcats.
The Zips outscored the. Bobcats 25-22 in the third quarter. Ohio shot 37.5 percent going 6-of-16 from the field compared to Akron who shot 75 percent going 9-of-13 from the field. Burris led the Bobcats with seven points in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter opened with a scoring drought for the two teams. Akron was first to score as the Zips converted a three-point basket but, Johnson, Burris, and Burke answered with a three-point bucket each that generated a 78-59 lead with six minutes remaining in the game. Once again, Ohio and Akron traded baskets as the clock wound down to the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Burris registered another three-point basket for an 85-65 Ohio advantage with just under four-minutes remaining. With under two-minutes to play, redshirt-freshman guard Kaylee Bambule (Plainfield, Ill.) registered a three-point basket that gave Ohio a 90-69 lead. A lay-up basket by Johnson ended the fourth quarter resulting in a 92-70 victory for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats will be back in action on Saturday (Feb. 9) as they travel to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to take on Central Michigan. Tip-off is set for 1 pm.