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Ohio Descends On Asheville For Saturday Tilt

Stevie Taylor ranks third in the MAC in assist/turnover ratio (2.2) this season.

Jan. 2, 2014


ATHENS, Ohio –
The Ohio University men’s basketball team (9-3) wraps up non-conference play with a contest at UNC-Asheville on Saturday (Jan. 4) at 2 p.m.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the game, with live audio available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to tip (1:30 p.m.). A live video stream also will be available via the Big South Network.

The game against UNC-Asheville is one of two games for Ohio against Big South opponents this week. The ‘Cats won the first contest against Longwood on Monday night inside the Convo.

With a victory over the Bulldogs, Ohio would post a winning non-conference road mark for the third time in four seasons. A win over UNC-Asheville also would give Ohio 10 non-conference victories for the third time in five seasons.

Ohio currently sits in first place in the MAC East Division with a 9-3 record. Toledo leads the MAC West with a 12-1 mark.

Last time out, the Bobcats moved to 7-1 at home with a 78-43 victory over Longwood Monday. Ohio led 32-28 at halftime, then used a 26-8 run at the start of the second half to cruise to the 35-point win (the team’s largest margin this season).

Five Bobcats scored in double figures for the first time this season, led by a 17-point effort from Nick Kellogg. Ricardo Johnson added 11 points and seven boards, while Stevie Taylor chipped in 11 points and a game-high six assists.

The Green & White held a +26 (52-26) margin on the glass against the Lancers. It marked the first time Ohio grabbed 50 or more rebounds since a December 2011 game vs. Marietta.

The Bobcats held Longwood to opponent season lows in points (43) and 3-point field goal percentage (.167). Ohio leads the MAC this season in scoring defense (64.6 ppg). The ‘Cats are 8-0 when holding their opponent under 70 points this season.

The Bobcats have posted a 2-2 record on the road so far this season. Ohio holds advantages in field goal percentage (.426-.418) and free throw percentage (.720-.646) over its opponents in away contests, but is -5.2 in average turnover margin while shooting just 26.2 percent (17-65) from 3-point territory (Ohio improved from 3-point territory at Richmond, making 6-of-12 attempts). After finishing up non-conference play at UNC-Asheville (Jan. 4), Ohio opens #MACtion at Kent State on Jan. 8 (TWC/ESPN3).

The Bulldogs have won their last five games and are a perfect 4-0 at home this season. UNC-Asheville was picked to finish fourth in the South Division in the Big South preseason poll. Head coach Nick McDevitt is in his first season as the team’s skipper.

The Bulldogs are paced offensively by freshman guard Andrew Rowsey, who leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and assists (2.3 apg). Senior center D.J. Cunningham entered the week ranked 14th nationally in blocks per game (3.6) and 21st in the country in rebounding (9.5 rpg).

Saturday’s contest marks the second all-time meeting between the Bobcats and Bulldogs. In the only matchup between the teams, Ohio earned an 81-62 victory in Athens as part of the ESPN BracketBuster series on Feb. 18, 2012. Saturday’s contest is a return game from the 2012 meeting. Current Bobcats Stevie Taylor (12) and Nick Kellogg (10) scored in double figures in the contest.

Ohio has posted a 7-2 (.778) all-time mark against teams currently in the Big South Conference. The Bobcats’ most common opponents are Radford (3-1) and Winthrop (1-1). Ohio won its first game against a Big South team this week, as the ‘Cats dispatched of Longwood (78-43) on Monday night at the Convo.

Ohio opens Mid-American Conference play with a 7 p.m. contest at Kent State on January 8. The game will be televised locally on Time Warner CableSportsChannel and broadcast nationally on ESPN3. Ohio fans can also listen to the contest live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.