It was a must-win game, and Cece Hooks and the Ohio women’s basketball team came through.

Ohio defeated Miami 73-64 in its final home game of the regular season on Wednesday.

The Bobcats are 15-12 overall and 9-9 in the Mid-American Conference. The win allowed Ohio to join three-way tie for seventh in the conference standings.

Kent State, Ohio and Bowling Green are all 9-9 going into the stretch run of the regular season, and only two of those teams will advance to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament.

Miami, which is eliminated from contention to make the eight-team MAC Tournament, fell to 8-20 overall and 4-15 in the conference.

Hooks led Ohio with 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Gabby Burris also added 15 points and eight rebounds, with Erica Johnson scoring 13 points and handing out four assists.

Yaya Felder came off the bench to score 10 points. Madi Mace (five points, four rebounds, two assists), Peyton Guice (five points) and Kaylee Baumbule (two points, four rebounds) rounded out Ohio’s scoring.

Ohio led 24-18 after one quarter, but Miami closed to within 37-35 going into halftime.

Ohio pushed ahead 53-47 going to the final quarter.

Miami never got closer than four points in the fourth. Ohio led 64-59 with 4:05 remaining after Miami’s Maddi Cluse hit a layup.

Johnson and Felder answered with baskets to push Ohio ahead 68-59 with 2:52 remaining.

Burris’ 3-pointer, off a feed from Hooks, lifted Ohio to a 71-61 lead with 2:09 to play.

Peyton Scott led Miami with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ivy Wolf added 16 points, while Cluse had 12 points.

The Bobcats have another must-win game coming up in order to make the MAC Tournament. They travel to Kent State on Saturday at 1 p.m. to close the regular season.

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