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Kent State Shuts Down Ohio, 73-60

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Jerome Tillman scored 10 points with five rebounds in his first-career start Wednesday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Jerome Tillman scored 10 points with five rebounds in his first-career start Wednesday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Feb. 1, 2006

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ATHENS, Ohio - Kent State shot 58 percent from the field and limited Ohio to just two three-pointers in 14 attempts Wednesday, knocking off the Bobcats 73-60 in The Convo.

Ohio (12-6, 6-4 Mid-American Conference) trailed by four at the break and dropped into a double-digit hole early in the second half. After trailing by as many as 13 in the second frame, the Bobcats cut the Kent State lead to seven with just less than three minutes to play. The Golden Flashes (15-6, 9-1 MAC) scored the final six points of the game, though, handing Ohio its third-straight loss.

Sonny Troutman (Indianapolis, Ind.) broke out of a brief scoring slump with 12 points Wednesday, and Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) came off the bench to chip in a dozen as well.

Leon Williams (Baltimore, Md.) hit 5-of-6 shots from the field for 11 points and a team-best six boards. Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in his career, replacing senior Jeff Halbert (White Bear Lake, Minn.), who sat out with an injury. Tillman responded with 10 points--including eight of Ohio's first 11.

Like Ohio, Kent State spread its scoring chores out evenly, with DeAndre Haynes leading the way with 16. Nate Gerwig knocked in 15, thanks to a 7-of-8 effort from the floor. Other double figure scorers included Omni Smith (10) and Jay Youngblood (12).

Tillman kicked off the game with a thunderous two-handed dunk on the game's opening possession to put Ohio up by a bucket early. Kent State quickly responded, though, with a three by Youngblood on the other end.

The rest of the night followed a similar script, with Kent State having an answer for every Bobcat run. Ohio led for a portion of the first half, owning a two-point lead with 12:29 left. That would be the last time the Cats would hold an edge.

Ohio went on a scoring drought of more than six minutes in the first half, but Kent State stayed hot on the offensive end, hitting 57.1 percent of its tries from the floor.

The Golden Flashes came out even hotter in the second half, knocking down 63 percent of their tries from the field and 38.9 percent from three-point range. After holding a 35-31 lead at the break, Kent State's edge swelled to 13 less than three minutes into the second half.

The Bobcats would claw back into it, though. The lead was down to five with 11:35 left in the second half, but Kent State responded with a quick 8-2 run that pushed the advantage back into double digits.

Ohio made one final push in the last five minutes of the game. A pair of Davis free throws and a Williams lay-in cut the Kent State lead to 65-58 with 4:22 remaining. The Golden Flashes would go on to score eight of the final 10 points in the game to seal the victory.

Each team recorded 25 rebounds on the night. Kent State outscored Ohio 36-30 in the paint and 9-8 on second-chance points. The Golden Flashes turned 16 Bobcat turnovers into 21 points.

Ohio heads out of Athens this weekend, but stays in the East Division. The Bobcats are set to face-off with Bowling Green on Saturday. Tip-time is slated for 2 p.m. in Anderson Arena.