Ohio went into Wednesday’s night matchup against Mid-American Conference leader Kent State with one hand tied behind its back. The Bobcats were without star guard Erica Johnson and starter Peyton Guice. Kent State, who already beat a healthy Ohio team back in December was fresh after not playing a game since Jan.9.
But nobody told the Bobcats they had no chance of winning. Ohio battled Kent State throughout and pulled off one of the best wins of the season, defeating Kent State 85-70.
It’s CeCe Hooks world
When it’s all said and done, CeCe Hooks will probably go down as the best female basketball player to ever play at Ohio. What’s made her legacy grow even more this season, however, is her ability to take over the game.
At halftime, Hooks had 18 points, six steals and five assists. And she could’ve had much more had a few baskets rolled the right way. In her four years in Athens, Hooks has managed to get better each year. She’s still the dominant defender that set, and then broke, her own steals record. Hooks ultimately finished the game with 29 points, nine assists and seven steals.
Unfortunately for Ohio, Hooks couldn’t be the one to pull out the win.
In Gabby we trust
With 5:51 remaining, Hooks fouled out. The Bobcats were on the bad end of a 10-0 run and all the momentum was sucked out of the air. Luckily for the Bobcats, Gabby Burris stepped up.
Burris led Ohio on an 11-0 run to end the game. Burris scored nine, all from the free throw line and iced the Golden Flashes hopes of stealing the win. Burris finished the game in the hero’s chair with 22 points and five rebounds.
Madi Mace makes an impact in her first start
All season long, Madi Mace has been Ohio’s spunky freshman off the bench, but on Wednesday Mace had her name called out by Lou Horvath in the starting lineup. Mace was ready for the big moment and despite a few bad shots and mental lapses, the freshman stayed in the game.
Mace hit several big shots and competed down low with Kent State’s bigs all game. Obviously, Mace will go back to her role as sixth-player the moment Erica Johnson is healthy to come back, but with a huge win on the line, Mace was the star the Bobcats needed.
A tough road ahead
It doesn’t get any easier after tonight.
The Bobcats have a two-game road trip against two of their toughest foes. First up on Saturday is Bowling Green. Last season, the Falcons ran Ohio off the court 82-68. After the trip to Bowling Green, Ohio has to head to Muncie, Indiana for a rematch with Ball State. Ohio lost to Ball State 88-85 on Jan. 13.
The trip is bound to be Ohio’s toughest of the season.