Post-game Press Conference (O'Shea, Troutman, Green) Video
Game Highlight Video
March 9, 2006
Final Stats |
For the second consecutive year, the Ohio men's basketball team sent Miami home from the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 73-58 victory in the quarterfinals Thursday night.
The Bobcats (19-10) will face regular-season champion Kent State (23-8) in Friday night's semifinals. That 7 p.m. game will be televised by Fox Sports Net Ohio and shown on alternate channels for cable and satellite viewers.
For television details, please CLICK HERE.
Against the RedHawks (18-10), Ohio used a balanced scoring attack and an opportunistic defense to avenge a pair of losses during the regular season. Six different Bobcats scored at lease nine points while the defense caused 15 turnovers, resulting in a 20-6 advantage in points off miscues.
Junior forward Sonny Troutman (Indianapolis, Ind.) led Ohio with 15 points in addition to six assists and three steals. Senior co-captains Jeff Halbert (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Mychal Green (Columbus, Ohio) also reached double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Green was 3-for-3 from three-point range while Halbert went 4-for-6 from long distance.
Sophomore center Leon Williams (Baltimore, Md.), sophomore point guard Antonio Chatman (Dorchester, Mass.) and junior guard Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) all scored nine points while freshman forward Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) rounded out the Bobcats' scoring with six points. Chatman dished out a game-high seven assists and made two steals.
Paced by Tillman's six rebounds, Ohio matched Miami's 27 in that category. Williams and Davis grabbed five boards apiece while Green and Halbert both ended up with four. In a superb all-around effort, Green also matched Troutman's total of three steals.
William Hatcher was the only RedHawk to reach double figures. The senior guard recorded 22 points and three steals while junior forward Nathan Peavy, who scorched the Bobcats for 21 and 17 points during the regular season, finished with nine points.
Ohio hit four of its first five three-pointers to start the game with a 17-9 lead. The gap reached double digits, 19-9, with 13:11 left in the first half on a dunk by Williams.
The RedHawks scored five straight points but three-pointers by Halbert and Green fueled an 8-2 Bobcat run made it 27-16 at the period's midway point.
With the score 29-22, an old-fashioned three-point play by Troutman began a 7-0 Ohio run that pushed the gap to 14 points, 36-22, with 4:54 to play.
Then, after a Hatcher three-pointer made it 38-32 with 2:40 remaining, Miami would not score for the remainder of the half. The Bobcats would only manage a pair of Troutman free throws down the stretch, though, taking a 40-32 advantage into the locker room.
At the half, Hatcher led all scorers with 14 points while Troutman paced Ohio with 10 points. Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field in the opening period and the Bobcats held a 13-2 advantage in points off turnovers. The 40 first-half points were the most allowed this season by the usually stout Miami defense.
The second half featured multiple mini-runs by both teams. Halbert began the period with a three-pointer and the RedHawks managed a single-digit deficit only three times the rest of the way. The closest they came was eight points on a Hatcher layup that made it 54-46 with 11:55 to play.
The Bobcats answered by scoring nine straight points - giving them their largest lead of the game at 17 points with 7:30 remaining - and the outcome was never in doubt from there on out.
For the game, Ohio shot 52.1 percent (25-of-48) from the field, a season-best 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range and 86.7 percent (13-of-15) from the free-throw line. Miami, meanwhile, managed 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the field, 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from long distance and 50 percent (6-of-12) from the line.
Thursday's game marked the 175th meeting between the MAC's oldest rivals. Dating back to the 1907-08 season, the Bobcats hold a 91-84 edge in the series and have knocked the RedHawks out of the MAC Tournament in three of the past four seasons. Ohio won 65-55 in overtime during the 2003 quarterfinals and ousted Miami with a 63-56 win in last year's semifinals.
The Bobcats - who are 5-0 in MAC Tournament quarterfinal games at Quicken Loans (formerly Gund) Arena and 7-3 in all postseason games there since the tournament moved there in 2000 - must now face a Kent State squad that also swept them during the regular season. The top-seeded Golden Flashes advanced to the semifinals with a 76-67 win over Buffalo on Thursday.
To order tickets for Friday night's semifinal game, contact the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 740-593-1300 or toll-free at 1-800-575-CATS (2287). Single-game tickets through the Bobcat ticket office are available for the discounted price of $28 each.