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Bobcats Handle Western Michigan, 87-55

Jan. 4, 2006

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On a night that saw the unveiling of the 2005 MAC Tournament Championship banner, a member of that squad--Whitney Davis--keyed an 87-55 victory for Ohio over Western Michigan in the MAC opener Wednesday night in The Convo.

Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) scored a career-best 16 points for an Ohio team that shot 58.6 percent on the night. The Bobcats (7-2 overall, 1-0 MAC) used a stifling defensive effort to build a 22-point halftime edge, then continued to turn up the volume in the second half, increasing the lead to 32 by the final buzzer. The win was Ohio's largest of the 2005-06 season.

All 14 Bobcats made an appearance Wednesday, and three of those players reached double figures. Davis led the way with 16, while Leon Williams (Baltimore, Md.) notched his 13th-career double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Mychal Green (Columbus, Ohio) scored 10 points and dished out four assists. Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) and Antonio Chatman (Charlestown, Mass.) each came off the bench and kicked in career-highs with eight points apiece.

Ohio trailed by a point just more than a minute into the game. From that point on, though, the Bobcats took over. Ohio led 18-5 at the 12:43 mark, and the Broncos (3-8, 0-1 MAC) didn't hit double digits on the scoreboard until a Joe Reitz jumper with less than nine minutes left in the half.

Leading by 12 with 6:46 left, Ohio went on a 15-5 run to finish up the half and take a commanding lead into the locker room at 43-21, its largest halftime lead of the season. Ohio's bench kicked in 22 of its 43 points. The Cats outscored Western Michigan 11-0 on second-chance points, and Ohio turned 11 first-half Bronco turnovers into 13 points.

Davis' three triples paced Ohio's first-half offensive effort. Green and Williams each had eight at intermission. Western Michigan was led by Brian Snider's seven first-half points. Andrew Hershberger had three rebounds.

The Bobcats shot 53.1 percent (17-32) in the first half, only to have an even better mark in the second period. Ohio converted 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) attempts in the second half, including 4-of-8 (50 percent) tries from beyond the arc.

Ohio only let its lead dip below the 20-point mark on a few occasions in the second half. After leading by 19 with 12:39 left in the game, Ohio pulled away for good. The Cats led by as many 33 with less than two minutes remaining and a Stephen King (Richfield, Minn.) three in the waning seconds of the game gave Ohio its 87-55 win.

King was one of 11 Bobcats to scratch the scoring column Wednesday. The Bobcats committed just 11 turnovers, while scoring 22 points off Western Michigan miscues.

Reitz led the way for the Broncos with 15 points and eight boards. Snider kicked in 10 with five assists.

Next up for the Bobcats is a date with Ball State on Sunday afternoon. The men's squad kicks-off a doubleheader day of basketball in The Convo with a 2 p.m. tip. The Ohio women follow with their MAC opener vs. Kent State.