Ohio freshman guard Cierra Hooks (#1) goes in for a layup during the Bobcats’ game against Akron on Monday in the first round of the MAC Tournament.
Cierra Hooks and Gabby Burris have been among the best freshmen in the Mid-American Conference this season.
On Tuesday morning, Hooks’ and Burris’ success was validated.
Hooks was named MAC Freshman of the Year, as the conference announced its regular season awards. She was also selected to the All-MAC Freshman Team, and along with those honors, was named to both the All-MAC Third Team and the All-MAC Defensive Team. Burris was named to the All-MAC Freshman Team as well.
Hooks is the third player in program history to be awarded MAC Freshman of the Year. Rachel Frederick won the award in 2006, and Caroline Mast, Ohio’s all-time leading scorer, won in 1983.
Throughout the season, Hooks and Burris have played significant roles in Ohio’s success. Hooks and Burris have been in starting roles consistently since early February; before that, they were the first two players off the bench.
Hooks provided a burst on offense because of her ability to drive to the basket and score. This season, Hooks became the second-highest scoring freshman in program history.
On defense, Hooks has led the team. She is ranked first in the MAC in steals per game (3.4), and she is now the Bobcats’ record holder for most steals in a season. Hooks’ surpassed the previous record of 86 steals, which Pam Pullie set during the 1985-1986 season. Hooks has 99 steals, which ranks her ninth in the nation for steals per game.
Burris’ role has been to score easy points inside and move without the ball well. Burris has averaged 10.3 points per game this season on 40.8 percent shooting. She’s been an energy player that goes after loose balls and can hit open 3-pointers, too.
The Bobcats will play Miami on Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament, which is at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Correction: A previous version of this report misstated when the conference announced its regular season awards. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.