Season-high night

Ohio junior guard Cece Hooks had a season-high 28 points and six steals, but the Bobcats fell — 73-72 — at Western Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

For the second time in eight days, the Bobcats were left to stew about another last second loss.

Ohio junior guard Cece Hooks had a season-high 28 points and six steals, but missed a free throw with 12 seconds left and a foul-line jumper with one second left as Western Michigan clipped the Bobcats 73-72 inside University Arena on Wednesday night.

Leighah-Amori Wool scored from the right block with 6.8 seconds left to give WMU the lead, and helped the Broncos (10-5, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) stop a four-game losing skid against Ohio.

The Bobcats (9-6, 2-2 MAC) meanwhile dropped their second one-possession game in the last three contests. OU was stopped 73-71 at home by Central Michigan on Jan. 8.

“We’ve played a couple of really good games and ended up on the wrong side of things,” Ohio head coach Bob Boldon said in a postgame radio interview.

Hooks took a season-high 29 shots for Ohio, which looked out of sync throughout. The Bobcats shot just 5 of 20 (25.0 percent) from 3-point range, watched the Broncos hit on 13 3-pointers, and OU finished with a season-low three assists.

Sophomore guard Erica Johnson added 18 points and nine rebounds for Ohio, but two other regulars struggled throughout. Senior guard Amani Burke had just six points, and junior forward Gabby Burris finished with eight and four rebounds; Burris, however, fouled out with 3:33 remaining.

“It just didn’t go our way tonight,” Boldon said. “It wasn’t just happenstance; we created our own fate.”

WMU had four players hit double figures. Forward Breanna Mobley had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Kamrin Reed (12 points) and Jordan Walker (11) combined for six made 3-pointers. Point guard Chelayne Bailey added eight points, seven rebounds and five assists.

But it was Wool who got the Broncos over the hump in the second half. She finished with a team-high 17 points, and all of them came in the game’s final 14 minutes.

“Wool was just super down the stretch,” Boldon said.

OU had its largest lead of the game, 43-36, midway through the third quarter but Wool scored eight points in three minutes to push WMU ahead 50-47. Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way.

Hooks’ steal-turned-layup plus two free throws from Deesh Beck gave Ohio a 67-62 lead with 5:30 left, but Wool hit two free throws to kick off a 7-0 run for a 69-67 lead with just under two minutes left.

Hooks hit two free throws, then converted a driving bucket from the left side for a 71-69 lead. WMU tied it on Mobley’s post-up with 1:19 to go.

Hooks was fouled going to the rim with 12.5 left on the clock, and hit one of two free throws. Wool scored what turned out to be the game winner at the other end after a pair of timeouts.

OU didn’t use a timeout after Wool’s bucket, and instead Hooks was able to drive to just inside the foul line at the other end before her off-balance jumper hit the back of the rim and fell off.

Ohio returns to the Convocation Center in Athens on Saturday for another critical matchup. Ball State (11-5, 3-1 MAC) will in town for a 1 p.m. start. The Cardinals were humbled, 66-39, by Central Michigan on Wednesday.

“We’ve got to be better defensively,” Boldon said.

Western Michigan 73, Ohio 72

Ohio 21 11 21 19 — 72

Wes. Michigan 15 14 23 21 — 73

OHIO (9-6, 2-2 MAC) 72

Cece Hooks 12 3-4 28, Katie Barker 2 0-0 6, Amani Burke 2 2-2 6, Erica Johnson 5 7-8 18, Gabby Burris 3 1-2 8, Caitlyn Kroll 0 0-0 0, Peyton Guice 0 0-0 0, Deesh Beck 1 4-5 6, Maddie Bazelak 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 25 17-21 72; 3-point goals — 5-20 (Barker 2-6, Johnson 1-2, Burris 1-2, Hooks 1-7, Kroll 0-1).

WESTERN MICHIGAN (10-5, 3-1 MAC) 73

Chelayne Bailey 3 0-0 8, Breanna Mobley 6 2-2 14, Kamrin Reed 4 1-2 12, Jordan Walker 3 2-4 11, Leighah-Amori Wool 5 5-5 17, Maddie Watters 3 0-0 9, Reilly Jacobson 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 25 10-13 73; 3-point goals — 13-34 (Watters 3-6, Walker 3-8, Reed 3-10, Bailey 2-5, Wool 2-5).

TEAM STATISTICS/INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Field goals — Ohio 25-62 (.403), 3-point goals 5-20 (.250); Western Michigan 25-56 (.446), 3-point goals 13-34 (.382); Free throws — Ohio 17-21 (.810), WMU 10-13 (.769); Rebounds — Ohio 31/8 offensive (Johnson 9), WMU 39/9 offensive (Mobley 11); Assists — Ohio 3 (Hooks 2), WMU 19 (Bailey/Walker 5); Steals — Ohio 13 (Hooks 6), WMU 6; Blocks — Ohio 2, WMU 5 (Mobley/Wool 2); Turnovers — Ohio 13, WMU 19; Personal fouls — Ohio 15, WMU 18; Attendance — 650; Technical fouls — None.

Email at jarkley@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @JasonAmessenger

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