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Hot-Shooting Bobcats Win 85-48 on Senior Day

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March 4, 2006

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ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio men's basketball team shot a season-high 63 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range while cruising to an 85-48 victory over Bowling Green on Senior Day at the Convocation Center Saturday afternoon.

Senior guard Mychal Green led the Bobcats (17-10, 10-8 Mid-American Conference) with 16 points while Jerome Tillman added 15, Jeff Halbert 11 and Leon Williams 10. Tillman and Williams (Baltimore, Md.) helped Ohio control the glass with eight rebounds apiece.

Halbert, a senior from White Bear Lake, Minn., recorded five points, two assists and a steal in the first three minutes of action as the Bobcats raced out to a 12-4 lead. The Falcons (9-20, 5-13 MAC) fought back to make it 21-18 at the first half's midway point but with the score 25-21 at the seven-minute mark, Ohio went on a 10-0 run to build up a 14-point lead with two minutes left before halftime.

Then, three-pointers by Green and sophomore point guard Antonio Chatman (Dorchester, Mass.) gave the Bobcats a 41-25 advantage at the break. For the half, Ohio shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field and 50 percent (5-of-10) from long distance but only 38 percent (3-of-8) from the free-throw line.

Green (Columbus, Ohio) led the squad with eight points while Halbert chipped in five points, four rebound, four assists and two steals in the period. Junior guard Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) came off the bench to contribute seven and six points, respectively, for the Bobcats.

Ohio began the second half with a 13-5 run that was fueled by a pair of Williams layups and three-pointers by Halbert, junior forward Sonny Troutman (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Green. Leading 54-30 with 16:29 to play, the Bobcats allowed Bowling Green to cut the gap to 16 over the next four minutes of play.

Then, with the score 60-43 at the 9:29 mark, Ohio used a 16-2 run to put the game away. A three-pointer by Halbert gave the Bobcats a 76-45 lead with 4:24 remaining and Ohio head coach Tim O'Shea was able to clear his bench and allow his two other seniors - forwards Cliff McGowen (Westerville, Ohio) and Seth Bauman (Canal Winchester, Ohio) - to take the court down the stretch.

For the game, Ohio made 32 of 51 shots from the field - including 11 of 22 from behind the arc - and made 10 of 19 foul shots. The Falcons, meanwhile, shot 42 percent (19-of-45) from the field, 31 percent (4-of-13) from three-point range and 60 percent (3-of-5) from the line.

The Bobcats dominated every aspect of the game including rebounds (34-20), points in the paint (36-16), points off turnovers (27-11), second-chance points (14-3) and bench scoring (31-11).

"This win really builds momentum for Monday night" said O'Shea, referring to Ohio's first-round game in the MAC Tournament. "The nice thing about the fact that we were able to win by such a wide margin is that I was able to sit guys at the end and make sure that we have our team healthy for Monday night. We're really going to be ready to go against whoever we play."

As a result of Ohio's win and Western Michigan's 74-59 home loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday, the Bobcats have earned the fifth seed in the MAC Tournament and will face last place Central Michigan (4-23, 1-17 MAC) at 7 p.m. Monday in the Convocation Center.

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