The Ohio Bobcats strengthened their spot in the Mid-American Conference standings.

Cece Hooks, fresh off eclipsing 2,000 career points, enjoyed another big game as Ohio earned a 74-52 win over Western Michigan on Saturday inside the Convocation Center.

The Bobcats improved to 12-6 overall, and 10-5 in the MAC after winning for the seventh time in their last nine games.

That run of success has Ohio sitting fourth in the conference standings, with the top eight teams qualifying for the conference tournament.

Hooks has been a big reason for Ohio’s success. She scored 29 points on 11 of 26 shooting on Saturday. She added seven rebounds and seven assists, flirting with a triple-double. Hooks added two steals for good measure, making 7 of her 10 free throw attempts.

Erica Johnson missed her fourth game due to injury, but Ohio still had three players in double figures after Hooks.

Madi Mace poured in 14 points to go with nine rebounds and two steals. Gabby Burris had 11 points and six rebounds, while Jasmine Hale had 10 points.

Abby Garnett also had six points off the bench, while Alexandra Antonova and Caitlyn Kroll each scored two points.

Western Michigan (3-13, 2-12 MAC) lost for the sixth time in seven games, but played with Ohio during the first half.

The Bobcats led 17-16 after one quarter, but the game was tied at 31-31 at halftime.

Ohio turned up the defense from there, as the Broncos were held to 21 second-half points.

Western Michigan’s final lead of the game came at 33-31 after Taylor Williams scored in the opening minute of the third quarter.

The final tie came at 35-35 after Sydney Shaffer’s basket for the Broncos.

It was all Bobcats the rest of the way. Mace sank a 3-pointer for a 38-35 edge with 7:21 remaining, and Ohio never lost that lead.

Mace’s shot began a 16-3 run that saw Ohio lead 51-38 with 2:34 left in the third after Hale’s 3-pointer.

Ohio took a 56-46 lead into the fourth, then won the final quarter 18-6 to win going away.

The Bobcats scored the first 10 points of the final quarter, leading 66-46 with 6:48 to play after another Hale 3-pointer.

Western Michigan never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

Shafer led Western Michigan with 14 points, while Reilly Jacobson, Williams and Maddie Watters each scored 10 points.

Ohio will try to continue its winning ways on Wednesday when it welcomes Northern Illinois to the Convocation Center for a 6 p.m. tip off.


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