The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team will open up the season in the Carrier Dome when MAC favorite Ohio comes to town. It’s no cupcake here, as this Bobcats team went 30-6 last season, and is returning Cece Hooks and Erica Johnson — two players who earned preseason all MAC honors. Ohio was also unanimously picked to win the conference this year, per preseason coaches poll. Hooks was also put on the Nancy Lieberman Award watchlist, which is given to the nation’s best point guard.
Teams: Syracuse Orange (0-0) vs Ohio Bobcats (0-0)
Day & Time: Tuesday November, 5 (ELECTION DAY), 8 p.m. ET
Location: The Dome (No rhyme or reason), Syracuse, N.Y.
Where to Watch: ACC Network Extra
MAC Blog: Hustle Belt
Current Streak: 3, Syracuse
First Meeting: Syracuse collected a 67-62 victory over Ohio during the 2008-09 season. It was one of 22 victories for Hillsman’s club that year, en route to an NCAA Tournament bid.
Last Meeting: Syracuse would win 81-70 on a neutral floor in 2011.
Head Coaches: Syracuse — Quentin Hillsman (14th season; 288-145). Ohio — Bob Boldon (7th season; 130-64)
Coach Bio: Boldon has been the head coach at Ohio since 2013, when he left Youngstown State after a successful run. He was the first coach in Ohio University history to lead the program to 30 wins last season (men or women), and went deeper in the postseason than any Ohio team has ever gone (WNIT Elite Eight). He won the 2015 MAC championship, and looked to be on their way to a second one last year before getting upset in the championship game by the University of Buffalo. If Bolden leads his team to the NCAA tournament this year, expect his name to come up in several P5 coaching searches.
Last year: Ohio ran out to a 12-0 start, and looked like a good bet to make the NCAA Tournament before getting upset by Buffalo in the MAC title game. Invited to the women’s NIT instead, the Bobcats won their first three games before bowing out to Northwestern in the quarterfinals.
Last game: As mentioned, the 2018-19 season concluded vs. Northwestern. Ohio lost a tough one, 61-58 to the Bobcats, to wrap up the year at 30-6.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Mentioned Hooks above, but worth repeating here. She scored 17.7 points per game last year on 49% shooting, while also collecting 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game (plus 3.1 steals). If you’re looking for someone that could give SU fits, she’s it.
If Syracuse wins: Exactly how you want to start the season after an emotional offseason. One game closer to welcoming top-ranked Oregon to Central New York.
If Syracuse loses: Not great, but not the end of the world. Will be dropped from the top 25, but Ohio is no pushover.
Fun Fact: Ohio only has two teams on the schedule ranked in the preseason top 25 — No. 21 Syracuse and No. 15 Texas.