On the move

Ohio junior guard Cece Hooks (left) drives past IUPUI's Destiny Perkins during the Bobcats' 70-64 win inside the Convocation Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Hooks had a game-high 25 points and added 10 rebounds. 

Coming a loss — an ugly, disjointed loss — a week ago, Ohio junior guard Cece Hooks she was disappointed, embarrassed and angry.

But above all?

“Pissed off,” Hooks said.

Hooks played like it, and spurred Ohio to a 70-64 win over IUPUI on Saturday afternoon inside the Convocation Center. The Bobcats (6-2) responded to their first tough-to-stomach loss of the season by leading the Jaguars (4-4) over every second of the final three quarters.

OU dropped a 60-55 decision to Butler on Nov. 30 in the second of two games at the Myrtle Beach Invitational. It snapped a five-game winning streak.

“To an extent, I think it was on everybody’s mind a little bit, but then you have another good team coming in and you have to get back to business,” said Ohio head coach Bob Boldon.

“Butler could’ve been the beginning of a losing streak, and it wasn’t.”

That was due in large part to Hooks. She had just five points and four rebounds in 32 minutes against Butler.

Against IUPUI, Hooks exploded for a season-high 25 points, added 10 rebounds and six assists. Defensively, Hooks picked up three steals and two blocked shots. Incredibly, Hooks drew 11 of the 19 fouls that IUPUI committed during the game.

“I was passive,” Hooks said of the game a week ago. “I needed a reminder to stay aggressive.”

Junior forward Gabby Burris backed up Hooks with a season-high 17 points and added nine rebounds. Senior guard Amani Burke added nine points and five assists.

Ohio had to deal without standout sophomore Erica Johnson. Johnson played just 12 minutes, and didn’t return after a first-half ankle injury. Johnson was spotted on crutches, with a walking boot, afterward. Boldon had no update after the game.

To get by, Ohio got big games from Burris and Hooks and quality bench minutes from freshmen Peyton Guice and Abby Garnett, grad transfer Maddie Bazelak and usual rotation backups Caitlyn Kroll and Deesh Beck.

Those minutes showed up on the defensive end. The Jaguars shot 40 percent overall, but finished just 6 of 26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range. Ohio scored 14 points off 19 IUPUI turnovers.

Center Macee Williams had 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jags, and point guard Holly Hoopingarner added 13 points. But IUPUI made just one 3-pointer from the start of the second quarter until the five-minute mark of the fourth.

“Everyone who came off the bench did some good things for us,” Burris said. “It’s a lot of pressure, especially playing a team like that. They stepped up and did their role.”

IUPUI’s last lead came late in the first quarter, at 17-15. But Johnson, still unhurt at this point, bagged a corner 3-pointer off an in-bounds play with one second left in the frame to make it 18-17.

Ohio never trailed again. The Bobcats led 23-21 early in the second quarter when OU used a 10-2 spurt to push the lead out to 34-23. Hooks had eight points in the surge with a steal-turned-layup, a 3-pointer from the corner, and an old-fashioned 3-point play.

“I think that game (Butler) really got to her,” Boldon said. “I think she really responded to that. She was terrific today.”

Ohio led 37-29 at the half, and kept the lead between eight and 12 points throughout the third and most of the fourth quarter.

The Jags scored 10 points in 90 seconds to pull to within five, but Burris hit a right-side 3-pointer and Hooks added a cutting layup to stop the momentum. Up seven with three minutes left, Ohio notched four straight stops and got four late free throws from Burke to seal it.

Burris had 10 of her 17 points in the fourth, and none were bigger than the 3.

“We needed it,” Boldon said.

The game was Ohio’s last home game of the non-conference season. The Bobcats play their final three non-league games on the road, including their next one — Dec. 15 at TCU. The next time OU plays at home it will be in Mid-American Conference play.

Ohio has road games at TCU, at Texas and then at Chattanooga to round out the non-conference portion of the schedule. And Johnson’s status may be up in the air for a while.

Boldon knows it’s a tough stretch to wrap up 2019. That was part of the plan for the schedule this year.

“(The players) want to play them and see how good we are,” the coach said.

Ohio 70, IUPUI 64



IUPUI (4-4) 64

Katelyn O’Reilly 1 0-0 3, Macee Williams 6 1-1 13, Destiny Perkins 2 0-0 5, Holly Hoopingarner 5 2-2 13, Natalie Andersen 2 0-0 5, Rachel McLimore 2 1-2 5, Sydney Roule 2 0-0 5, Morgan Allen 3 2-2 8, Agatha Beier 3 0-0 7, Taylor Ramey 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 26 6-7 64; 3-point goals — 6-26 (O’Reilly 1-3, Hoopingarner 1-3, Roule 1-3, Beier 1-3, Andersen 1-6, Perkins 1-7, McLimore 0-1).

OHIO (6-2) 70

Erica Johnson 3 0-0 7, Gabby Burris 7 0-0 17, Cece Hooks 7 9-13 25, Katie Barker 1 0-0 3, Amani Burke 1 6-6 9, Caitlyn Kroll 2 0-0 4, Peyton Guice 1 1-2 3, Deesh Beck 1 0-0 2, Maddie Bazelak 0 0-0 0, Abby Garnett 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 23 16-21 70; 3-point goals — 8-21 (Burris 3-5, Hooks 2-2, Johnson 1-1, Barker 1-6, Burke 1-6, Kroll 0-1).


Field goals — IUPUI 26-65 (.400), 3-point goals 6-26 (.231); Ohio 23-57 (.404), 3-point goals 8-21 (.381); Free throws — IUPUI 6-7 (.857); Ohio 16-21 (.762); Rebounds — IUPUI 43/14 offensive (Williams 11), Ohio 35/9 offensive (Hooks 10); Assists — IUPUI 16 (Perkins 4), Ohio 13 (Hooks 6); Steals — IUPUI 2, Ohio 11 (Johnson 4); Blocks — IUPUI 2, Ohio 2 (Hooks 2); Turnovers — IUPUI 16, Ohio 13; Personal fouls — IUPUI 19, Ohio 14; Attendance — 384; Technical fouls — None.

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

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