Ohio took a trip to Fifth Third Arena for a nonconference matchup against Cincinnati on Tuesday. It established dominance early into the game and produced a 73-62 outcome for its first win of the season and Cincinnati’s first loss. It was the first matchup between the Bobcats and Bearcats since 1999.
Following a 3-pointer by Ella Pope with 52 seconds left in the first quarter, the Bobcats (1-2) led for the rest of the game. They led by six at the end of the first and by 16 at halftime and the end of the third. Guards Erica Johnson and Cece Hooks both had breakthrough performances to lift the Bobcats above the Bearcats (2-1).
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s win over Cincinnati:
The dynamic duo of Hooks and Johnson locked in against the Bearcats, scoring a combined 48 points. Hooks, who played all 40 minutes of the game, contributed 21 points, and Johnson added 27 points. Johnson’s shooting from the free-throw line was a perfect four-for-four. Hooks also found success at the line and went 10-for-13. Both are known to be apt shooters for the Bobcats and flashed their talents against the Bearcats.
For the last three-and-a-half minutes of Tuesday’s game, the Bobcats did not score a single field goal. Their final field goal of the game was a 3-pointer by Gabby Burris with three minutes and 23 seconds left. Afterward, the Bearcats went on an 8-0 run to cut the Bobcats’ lead to nine points. However, Hooks did complete two free throws after Cincinnati’s run to redeem Ohio’s lost points.
Hooks turned the ball over to Cincinnati seven times Tuesday. Her turnover total has increased with each game, from three against Notre Dame to six against Liberty to seven Tuesday. Overall, Cincinnati managed to score 17 points off Ohio’s 18 turnovers. While it may not have been detrimental Tuesday, these turnovers could hurt the Bobcats in the heart of the season.
Burris built on her previous performances to bring her season-high rebounds up to eight, just three shy of her career-high 11. Burris honed in her talents for defensive purposes. Only two of her eight rebounds were offensive, and the other six were defensive. The forward provides a substantial amount of edge for Ohio regaining possession.
Ohio had 18 personal fouls Tuesday. Leading the pack was Madi Mace, who fouled out with 6:55 left in the fourth quarter. Hooks also found herself in foul trouble in the fourth quarter after committing two in under three minutes. Mace was not the only player to foul out of the game, though. Cincinnati’s Akira Levy also fouled out after she received a technical with 6:03 left in the fourth.