When Cece Hooks dribbled the ball up court to begin Ohio’s offensive attacks Sunday afternoon, she couldn’t make a bad decision.
If Hooks passed her the ball, Ohio was probably going to add three points to its lead, which only continued to grow against Eastern Kentucky. Hooks had Erica Johnson a few feet to her left, and to her right was Amani Burke. A pass to Johnson likely meant a drive to the hoop or a mid-range field goal after she found separation.
Hooks could’ve taken the ball to the hoop herself or passed it around, wait to receive the ball again and likely find enough space for a shot of her own.
The Bobcats’ offense had unlimited scoring options in their 100-60 win over the Colonels on Sunday at The Convo. Five players reached double-digits as Ohio reached the 100-point mark for the first time at home since Dec. 30, 1999, and continued its offensive dominance to begin this season.
“I loved the way we started (the game),“ coach Bob Boldon said. “The quality of the shot we’re taking is much better than it was last year.”
Ohio (3-0) entered Sunday hitting 51.6 percent of its field goals and averaging 90.5 points per game — ninth and 10th in the nation, respectively. Eastern Kentucky (0-3), however, hadn’t scored more than 44 points in its first two games.
The offensive discrepancies were apparent from tip-off. Hooks registered the Bobcats’ first nine points in the opening three minutes, which allowed her teammates to feel out the Colonels’ defensive plan.
The passing holes only grew, the driving lanes became more visible and the Bobcats eclipsed the Colonels’ season-high 44-point mark with six minutes left in the second quarter.
“I was just locked in and focused,” Hooks said. “I knew that we needed the energy to keep us focused throughout the whole game, so I just came ready to play.”
The creativity came from Burke and Johnson, who found opportunities both in and outside the arc. Johnson scored 19 points and didn’t miss her two 3-pointers and five free throws, while Burke registered 18 points and knocked down three 3-pointers.
Burke was three points shy from tying her career-high of 21 points. The junior would’ve probably broken her personal record, had Boldon not opted to give minutes to some of Ohio’s bench players with a win all but secured after a 74-39 third-quarter lead.
He wanted to peek into his team’s depth: Redshirt freshman Kaylee Bambule and freshman Deesh Beck both played. Bambule totaled 12 points.
“I knew I’d get a few minutes here and there,” Bambule said. “Once the score got run up, I knew I’d get an opportunity. I think my teammates set me up for success in that situation.”
The Bobcats knew their offense would be the driver behind their success this season, but Boldon was not expecting it to be this good.
He was quick to point out that the Bobcats have only played three home games. This season’s offensive explosion caught Boldon by surprise.
“I didn’t think we would be quite this efficient,” Boldon said. “And I’m obviously thrilled that we are.”