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Ohio Men Hold Off Detroit 56-55

Captain Kuwik Returns to Bobcat Coaching Staff

Dec. 22, 2005

Final Stats |  Quotes

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio men's basketball team remained undefeated at home this season with a 56-55 victory over Detroit Thursday evening at the Convocation Center.

The Bobcats (6-1) were led by 15 points from sophomore point guard Jeremy Fears (Joliet, Ill.), who also recorded a game-high four assists and four steals. Senior guard Mychal Green (Columbus, Ohio) also reached double figures with 10 points in addition to his team-best two blocks.

Junior forward Sonny Troutman (Indianapolis) and senior guard Jeff Halbert (White Bear Lake, Minn.) each contributed eight points each to the winning effort while sophomore center Leon Williams (Baltimore) added seven points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Freshman forward Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) scored six points and junior guard Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) chipped in two.

Brandon Cotton led all scorers with 24 points for the Titans (6-6). He was followed by Jon Goode with 14 points and Torvoris Baker, who recorded seven points and a game-high nine boards.

Ohio held an early four-point lead in the first half but the low-scoring period ended with Detroit taking their first and only lead at 24-23. Goode had 11 points at the break while Fears led the Bobcats with eight at halftime.

A Fears steal and breakaway dunk capped an 8-0 run to begin the second period and Ohio held a 31-24 advantage with 16:23 to play. The lead reached 11 points three times, the last being 48-37 with 7:50 remaining.

The Titans went on their own 10-0 run at that point to reduce the gap to one, 48-47, with five minutes on the clock. A three-pointer by Fears and a short jumper by Williams pushed the lead back to six but a trey by Cotton made it 53-50 at the 3:33 mark.

As he has done so many times in his career, Halbert then stepped up at a crucial moment and drilled a three-pointer to give the Bobcats a six-point cushion with 3:10 to play. It would be the last points for Ohio as Cotton hit another three-pointer at the 2:55 mark and then a jumper with 1:10 on the clock for the game's final score. The junior guard scored 20 of Detroit's 31 second-half points.

With 16 seconds to play, Troutman missed a pair of free throws, giving the Titans a chance to avenge last year's 66-65 loss to the Bobcats when Fears hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer. This time around, however, Cotton missed a floating 15-footer from the right side as the clock expired, allowing Ohio to extend its streak of non-conference home wins to nine.

For the game, the Bobcats shot 45.2 percent (19-of-42) from the field, 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three-point range and 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the charity stripe. Detroit, meanwhile, managed 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from behind the arc and just 25.0 percent (1-of-4) from the free-throw line.

After a short Christmas break, Ohio will travel to Cincinnati next Friday for an 8 p.m. game against No. 19 Kentucky. The contest will be televised live on ESPN2 from U.S. Bank Arena. The Bobcats will then begin Mid-American Conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 4, with a 7 p.m. home game against Western Michigan.