The Ohio Bobcats were done in by an old nemesis on Saturday.
Ohio and Central Michigan played another classic in the Convocation Center, but the Chippewas came away with a 90-87 victory.
Ohio falls to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Mid-American Conference, while Central Michigan moves to 5-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the conference.
It’s the third defeat in a row in the series against Central Michigan.
Cece Hooks and Erica Johnson were both great for Ohio, but Central Michigan’s Micaela Kelly and Molly Davis won the day.
Kelly scored a game-high 28 points, making four 3-pointers. She added six rebounds and four assists.
Davis added 23 points, making all eight of her free throw tries, to go with 10 rebounds and five assists.
The game swung back and forth with eight lead changes and seven ties, with Central Michigan leading by as many as nine points and Ohio by as many as 10 points.
Ohio’s final lead came at 78-77 after a Johnson free throw with 3:25 left.
The Bobcats also forced an 80-80 tie with 1:45 remaining on Hooks’ put-back. Hooks scored on a driving layup to force an 82-82 tie with 1:23 on the clock.
Central Michigan always had an answer. Kelly’s 3-pointer lifted the Chipps to an 85-82 advantage with 37 seconds left, and Ohio would never fully erase that deficit.
Madi Mace’s shot in the lane with 28 seconds left brought Ohio to within 85-84. Ohio had a chance after Kelly split a pair of free throws, leaving the score at 86-84 with 25 seconds left.
However, Maddy Watters grabbed an offensive rebound after Kelly’s missed free throw. It led to Davis making two free throws with 21 seconds remaining for an 88-84 Central Michigan edge.
Ohio still had a shot after that. Hooks scored in the paint to cut the deficit to 88-86, and then Mace came up with a steal seconds later.
Out of a timeout, Gabby Burris drew a foul and had a chance to tie the game with seven seconds left. She missed the first free throw, but made the second.
Kelly then put the exclamation point on Central Michigan’s win with a fast break layup in the closing seconds for the 90-87 win.
Central Michigan was 31 of 62 from the field for the game, while Ohio was 32 of 73. Ohio made just 7 of 37 3-point attempts, while the Chippewas made 15 of 35 from long range.
Hooks led Ohio with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Johnson had 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Burris added 12 points, while Mace had 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Peyton Guice had 10 points, while Kaylee Bambule added eight points.
Watters added 17 points for Central Michigan.
Ohio won the turnover battle, forcing 19 for Central Michigan while committing only nine.
The Bobcats will look to end a two-game losing streak when they travel to Miami on Wednesday in a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
Ohio will be home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Toledo.