Road loss in New York

Ohio junior guard Cece Hooks (left), seen here in an exhibition game against Walsh on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, had 17 points in the Bobcats’ 66-54 loss at No. 21 Syracuse on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Note: This recap appears in the Thursday, Nov. 7 newspaper on Page A6.

The Bobcats had a terrific start, but couldn’t finish an upset bid at No. 21 Syracuse on Tuesday night in the season opener.

The Orange overcame an early 12-point deficit and locked Ohio off the glass in a 66-54 victory at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse (1-0) held OU (0-1) to just 21.2 percent shooting from 3-point range, and used a huge rebounding edge to pound out a hard-fourth win. Ohio was out rebounded 57-32, and the Orange piled up 23 offensive rebounds.

“I think their length gave us some trouble and kind of affected some of the shots we took,” said Ohio head coach Bob Boldon in a postgame radio interview. “Our execution wasn’t what it needed to be when you’re playing against athletes like this.

“Our rebounding deficiency is still a deficiency,” Boldon added. “Until we take that seriously we’re not going to be able to beat Top 25 teams.”

Freshman guard Kiara Lewis had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Syracuse, which survived 18 turnovers and 23 personal fouls. Amaya Finklea added nine points and 10 rebounds, while Gabrielle Cooper and Taleah Washington both added 10 points apiece.

Junior point guard Cece Hooks led Ohio with a game-high 17 points. She added five rebounds and three assists — both team highs — and took in a game-high six steals.

Hooks now has 216 career steals, and needs seven more to climb into a tie for second place in the Ohio record book.

Sophomore Erica Johnson added 13 points for the Bobcats, and senior guard Amani Burke added 12.

Ohio started red-hot, and hit four its first eight 3-pointers to surge out to a 14-2 lead. The Bobcats led 22-10 at the end of the quarter.

But OU’s long-range accuracy tailed off dramatically as Syracuse’s 2-3 zone began to cause difficulties. Ohio hit just 3 of its final 25 shots from 3, and managed just 32 points over the final three quarters.

“It’s a bummer,” Boldon said. “I wish we had shot it better.

“It was just a start. We’ve got to finish things.”

Syracuse dominated the second quarter — 21-8 — and led by one at the half.

Ohio managed to take a 41-40 lead in the third quarter, and tied it 46-46 late in the quarter on Johnson’s 3-pointer.

But Lewis banked in a 3, and Strautmane’s lob at the third quarter buzzer started a 17-4 Orange run that made it 62-50 with just four minutes left.

The game was the first of three in non-conference schedule against ranked teams for Ohio. The Bobcats will have their home opener on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Convocation Center against American.

No. 21 Syracuse 66, Ohio 54

Ohio 22 8 16 8 — 54

Syracuse 10 21 20 15 — 66

OHIO 54 (0-1)

Gabby Burris 2 1-2 5, Cece Hooks 5 6-8 17, Katie Barker 1 0-0 3, Amani Burke 4 2-6 12, Erica Johnson 5 0-0 13, Caitlyn Kroll 2 0-0 4, Deesh Beck 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 19 9-16 54; 3-point goals — 7-33 (Johnson 3-7, Burke 2-9, Hooks 1-6, Barker 1-9, Burris 0-2).

SYRACUSE 66 (1-0)

Digna Strautmane 4 0-0 9, Amaya Finklea 4 1-2 9, Gabrielle Cooper 3 1-2 10, Emily Engstler 1 2-3 4, Kiara Lewis 7 1-3 16, Elemy Colome 0 0-0 0, Taleah Washington 4 0-0 10, Whisper Fisher 0 0-0 0, Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi 0 0-0 0, Brooke Alexander 3 0-0 8; TOTALS 26 5-10 66; 3-point goals — 9-27 (Cooper 3-10, Alexander 2-2, Washington 2-5, Lewis 1-4, Strautmane 1-5, Engstler 0-1).

TEAM STATISTICS/INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Field goals — Ohio 19-26 (.306), 3-point goals 7-33 (.212); Syracuse 26-69 (.377), 3-point goals 9-27 (.333); Free throws — Ohio 9-16 (.563), Syracuse 5-10 (.500); Rebounds — Ohio 32/12 offensive (Burris/Hooks 5 each), Syracuse 57/23 offensive (Finklea 10); Assists — Ohio 9 (Hooks 3), Syracuse 14 (Lewis 7); Steals — Ohio 9 (Hooks 6), Syracuse 5; Blocks — Ohio 3, Syracuse 6; Turnovers — Ohio 10, Syracuse 18; Personal fouls — Ohio 15, Syracuse 23; Attendance — 1,297; Technical fouls — None.

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

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