Jan. 11, 2006
YPSILANTI, Mich. -
Sonny Troutman scored a season-high 19 points Wednesday night as the Ohio men's basketball team rolled to a 75-63 Mid-American Conference win at Eastern Michigan.
The Bobcats (9-2, 3-0 MAC) shot out to a 20-5 lead and never really looked back. The lead went as high as 17 in the first half and Ohio took a 45-31 advantage into the locker room, marking their highest first-half output this season.
After cutting the gap down to eight with a minute to go before the break, Eastern Michigan (3-8, 0-3 MAC) allowed the Bobcats to score six straight points in the closing 15 seconds of the half.
A first-half steal by Troutman moved him into sole possession of fifth place in school records. With 143 career swipes, the junior forward from Indianapolis moved ahead of Curtis Simmons and Robert Tatum on the all-time steals list.
"Sonny played really well," Ohio head coach Tim O'Shea said about Troutman, who recorded three rebounds, two assists and a block in addition to shooting 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from the field. "The nice thing about this team is that it's hard to key on any one guy because we do have a lot of options."
In the second half, the Bobcat lead never dipped below 12 and went as high as 20 on two occasions. After leading 74-54, Ohio was outscored 9-1 in the closing minutes to make the final score seem closer than it was.
"We didn't finish the game well," said O'Shea. "We had some ridiculous turnovers down the stretch but fortunately we had a 20-point lead at the time. I would have liked to have seen us finish the game stronger but anytime you get a road win in the MAC, you've got to be pleased, especially by double digits."
Sophomore center Leon Williams (Baltimore) and senior guard Mychal Green (Columbus, Ohio) also reached double figures for the Bobcats as the duo scored 14 and 11 points, respectively. Williams led the team on the glass with nine rebounds while Green grabbed six boards to go along with his team-high three assists.
Playing in front of his hometown fans, junior guard Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) had a strong outing with nine points, four rebounds and a game-high three steals. He was followed in scoring by senior forward Jeff Halbert (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and sophomore point guard Jeremy Fears (Joliet, Ill.), who each scored seven points for Ohio.
Gino Smith led Eastern Michigan with 18 points while fellow forward John Bowler recorded 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Bobcats are off to their best start since the 1985-86 season when they also won nine of their first 11 games. Since beginning the series in 1971-72, Ohio is now 40-20 against the Eagles.
This Saturday, Jan. 14, the Bobcats return home for a 2 p.m. game against Central Michigan (2-10, 0-4 MAC), who dropped a 66-49 decision at Miami on Wednesday.
The friendly confines of the Convocation Center should be even more energized by a Dad's Weekend crowd on Saturday. For ticket information, please contact the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-575-CATS or purchase your tickets online by CLICKING HERE.
Click here to see how students can sit with their dads on Saturday!