Ohio’s Erica Johnson drives to the basket during a game against Akron on Jan. 30. Johnson scored 19 points on Saturday in the Bobcats’ 81-64 win over Fordham in the Women’s Invitational Tournament.

CHARLOTTE — The Ohio women’s basketball earned the opportunity for one final game in the 2020-21 season.

Ohio defeated Fordham 81-64 in a consolation game in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament on Saturday at the Bojangles Coliseum.

The Bobcats never trailed, and improved to 15-9 on the season.

Cece Hooks put together another big game, scoring 23 points on an efficient 10 of 15 shooting. She added nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Erica Johnson and Gabby Burris each tallied 19 points. Johnson added four assists, while Burris had three steals.

Kendall Hale came off the bench to score seven points, while Jasmine Hale had five points.

Each team lost its opening round WNIT game, dropping to the consolation bracket. Fordham ends its season with a 12-6 record, going 0-2 in the tournament.

Ohio went ahead 7-0 and never lost the advantage. The Bobcats led 23-12 after one quarter, 39-26 at halftime and 64-46 going to the fourth quarter.

Kendall Heremaia led Fordham with 20 points, making five 3-pointers, to go with 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Anna DeWolfe added 18 points, making four 3-pointers, while Katilyn Downey had 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Bobcats were scheduled to play at WNIT consolation final on Monday at 4 p.m., their final game of the season.

Clemson 65, Ohio 60

CHARLOTTE — Ohio’s season isn’t over, but the Bobcats won’t be able to take home a Women’s National Invitational Tournament championship.

Clemson was able to pull away for a 65-60 victory on Friday in the opening round of the WNIT.

The game was played at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte.

It was a tough ending for the Bobcats, who entered the fourth quarter tied at 48-48.

Clemsons scored the first eight points of the fourth, leading 56-48 after Tylar Bennett’s fast-break layup with 8:35 to play.

Ohio pulled to within 56-54 on Cece Hooks’ layup with 6:30 remaining.

The Tigers maintained the upper hand, going ahead 59-54 after Gabby Elliott’s free throw with 5:15 to play.

Ohio battled back to within 59-58 after Madi Mace’s basket with 2:16 remaining.

The Bobcats would go ahead 60-59 with 48 seconds left after Mace scored in the paint.

A critical sequence of plays went against the Bobcats in the closing seconds.

Clemson went ahead 61-60 with 16 seconds left on Bennett’s banked-in jumper.

Hooks lost possession of the ball on Ohio’s next possession, with Delicia Washington coming away with a steal.

Washington was fouled by Gabby Burris, and Ohio was also whistled for a technical foul during the sequence.

Washington made two free throws, and Kendall Spray two more with five seconds left.

The Tigers now led 65-60 after the free throws, and had possession of the basketball.

In the blink of an eye, Ohio’s shot at advancing in the tournament had evaporated.

Ohio falls to 14-9, while Clemson advances and improves to 12-13.

Hooks and Burris each had 17 points to lead Ohio. Hooks added 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals, playing the entire fourth quarter with four fouls. Erica Johnson had 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists, while Mace had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Caitlyn Kroll added five points.

Washington led Clemson with 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals, as she also shook off nine turnovers. Elliott added 16 points and six rebounds, while Amari Robinson had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Spray and Bennett each added eight points.

Ohio started strong, leading 13-3 in the opening minutes after Hooks assisted on Kroll’s 3-pointer.

Clemson rebounded to trail just 18-13 after the opening quarter, however, eventually battling all the way back to lead 23-22 on Elliott’s shot in the paint.

The Tigers used a 26-11 run to lead 29-24 in the second quarter, going ahead 31-29 at halftime.

Clemson led 36-29 in the third quarter after Spray’s 3-pointer, but Ohio forged a 44-44 tie after Mace’s fast-break lay-in with 1:58 left in the third.

Ohio eventually went ahead 48-44 after two Hooks free throws, but Elliott’s 3-pointer gave Clemson a 48-48 tie going to the fourth.

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