ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio women's basketball team (4-1) took down Incarnate Word (2-2), 78-41, on Saturday afternoon at The Convocation Center.
"I think we got better and we try to get better (every game)," head coach Bob Boldon said. "We knew we wanted to play a lot of kids and I thought the kids did a good job of trying to do things correctly when they were on the floor. That's a good sign and that's what we're going to try to do next weekend. It was nice to see it today."
Eleven players saw the floor for at least 12 minutes. Ohio shot 29-of-59 overall (49.2 percent) from the floor and 6-of-25 (24.0 percent) from behind the three-point line. OU held UIW to 15-of-48 (31.3 percent) from the field and 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from behind the arc. The Bobcats did not trail the entire game.
Ohio had 19 steals in the win, which is the 10th most in school history for a single game. Senior guard Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio) and sophomore forward Deesh Beck (Grand Rapids, Mich.) each had four steals while redshirt sophomore guard Erica Johnson (Mansfield, Ohio) and junior forward Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) had three swipes each. The Bobcats forced 27 total turnovers in the win.
Junior guard Cece Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) had a game-high 18 points one 6-of-7 shooting. Hooks knocked down one three pointer, had three assists, two rebounds and one steal. Hooks now has 225 career steals, four behind the all-time record of 229. She was a game best +38.
Johnson had 15 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting day, where she hit one three pointer. Johnson added six rebounds and five assists in 16:50 minutes of play. Burris also recorded 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting with one made three. Burris was +33 and added four rebounds and two assists.
Redshirt sophomore guard Caitlyn Kroll (Bridgeport, Ohio) had nine points and a team-high seven rebounds for Ohio. Two of those rebounds came on the offensive end. Redshirt freshman forward Abby Garnett (Golden, Colo.) had seven points off the bench with her first points as a Bobcat.
Ohio outrebounded UIW 39-31. Ohio had 10 offensive rebounds in the contest, and Kroll led the way with seven boards, while Johnson and Beck each pulled down six.
"The key was just to be aggressive, crash and grab the ball," Beck said. "Rebounding was one of the major things we had to do tonight and we did."
Ohio assisted on 20 buckets while the Cardinals only assisted on seven. Johnson's five assists led the Bobcats while Hooks and Beck and graduate transfer forward Maddie Bazelak (Dayton, Ohio) each had three. Burris, Kroll each had three.
The Bobcats produced 46 points in the paint and limited UIW to just 18. Ohio's bench outscored the Cardinals, 23-21 and OU produced 26 fast break points.
Ohio won the jump ball and took the lead with a Johnson layup with 9:41 left in the first quarter and didn't look back. UIW got the lead down to five at 12-9 but a Hooks layup, Burris layup ad Burris fast break lay-in put Ohio up 18-9, which is the score Ohio went into the quarter break with. Ohio shot 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) in the first frame. Johnson, Burris and Hooks all had six points.
Ohio started the second quarter with a fast break layup off a Hooks steal to go up 20-9 and UIW called a timeout with 8:47 left in the second quarter down 24-12. Out of the timeout, the Bobcats went on a 19-3 run that spanned the rest of the quarter to take a 43-18 lead into halftime. OU outscored Incarnate Word 25-9 in the second game after shooting 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from the field and 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from deep.
The Bobcats pushed the run to 32-3 in the third quarter before UIW made a three with 5:06 in left in the quarter. OU led 64-27 after the third frame and outscored the Cardinals, 21-9. Seven Bobcats scored in the quarter while Ohio shot 6-of-12 (50.0 percent) from the field.
OU got the advantage to 41 at 71-30 with 8:00 minutes left in the game after Hooks knocked down a three pointer. OU and UIW each scored 14 points in the final quarter for a final score of 78-41. Ohio was 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from the field in the final quarter.
Ohio will return to action on Friday, November 29 in the Daytona Beach Invitational against Pitt. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. OU will also face Butler at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the same invitational.