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Ohio Opens MAC Play Wednesday At Kent State

Senior T.J. Hall is averaging 10.6 points per game over Ohio's past five contests.

Jan. 7, 2014


The Last Meeting
Kent State75  
February 16, 2013
Athens, Ohio
Ohio Surges By Kent State, 78-75, In Overtime Thriller
The Ohio University men's basketball team (19-6, 10-1) surged past Kent State (14-12, 5-7) in an overtime thriller, 78-75, in the Convocation Center Saturday afternoon on ESPNU.

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (10-3) opens Mid-American Conference play Wednesday when the ‘Cats head north to take on MAC East rival Kent State (9-4).

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. Wednesday’s game will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and broadcast nationally on ESPN3. Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play duties, while Dave Cecutti will provide color commentary.

Ohio fans can also listen to the contest live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Bobcats have won 24 of their past 29 MAC regular season contests, including a 14-2 mark last season. Ohio is 541-417 (.565) all time in league contests.

Ohio posted the best non-conference record in the MAC East Division (10-3). Toledo led the MAC West with a 12-1 mark.

Last time out, the Bobcats rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to wrap up non-conference play with a 79-70 win at UNC-Asheville on Saturday. Ohio opened the second half with a 16-3 run to take a one-point lead (47-46) midway through the period, then withstood a number of Bulldog runs to hang on for the win. The Bobcats limited UNC-Asheville to just 22.2 percent (6-27) shooting in the second half.

With the victory, Ohio clinched a winning non-conference road mark (3-2) for the third time in four seasons and won its 10th non-league tilt for the third time in five seasons.

Junior forward Maurice Ndour posted his second double-double of the season with a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds for Ohio, while senior guard Nick Kellogg tied a personal best with 23 points and grabbed a career-best nine rebounds against the Bulldogs.

The ‘Cats distributed 16 assists at UNC-Asheville and are averaging 19.0 assists/game over their past two contests. The Green & White rank second in the MAC with 14.4 assists/game this season.

Senior guard Nick Kellogg was named the MAC East Player of the Week by the league office Monday, while junior forward Maurice Ndour garnered MAC Player of the Week honors from College Sports Madness. Kellogg averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 56.5 percent (13-23) over the two games, while Ndour posted 17.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 blocks while shooting 50.0 percent (12-24). Kellogg (Nov. 11, Jan. 6) and Ndour (Nov. 18, Dec. 2) have each earned MAC East Player of the Week honors from the league twice this season.

Ohio has registered a 34-14 (.708) conference record over the past three seasons, including a 14-2 mark in 2012-13. The ‘Cats have won 20 of their past 21 MAC home games. This past season, Ohio earned a share of the MAC regular season title for the first time since 1993-94. The ‘Cats also have captured two of the past four MAC Tournament titles.

Head coach Jim Christian enters his second season on the sidelines for the Bobcats. With his 34-13 record at Ohio, Christian has improved his winning percentage as a MAC skipper to .708 (172-71), the best mark in conference history by a sizable margin. His conference game winning percentage of .750 (90-30) is second only to Bill Rohr (.757), who led Miami from 1952-1957.

The Bobcats have posted a 3-2 record on the road during the 2013-14 non-conference slate. In those five contests, Ohio held advantages in field goal percentage (.430-.397), free throw percentage (.767-.669) and rebounding (183-182), but is -4.6 in average turnover margin while shooting just 26.5 percent (22-83) from 3-point territory. In MAC play, the Bobcats posted a program-record seven league road wins last season.

The Golden Flashes were picked to finish fourth in the MAC East Division in the league’s preseason poll. Kent began the non-conference slate with an 8-1 mark, including wins at Temple and against a good Youngstown State club. The Flashes dropped three of their final non-conference tilts.

Kent State is paced offensively by junior guard Kris Brewer, who leads the team with 11.9 points per game and is averaging 2.3 assists per contest. Senior forward Mark Henniger grabs a team-best 5.7 rebounds per contest and ranks second in the MAC with a .922 (47-51) free throw percentage. Senior forward Darren Goodson is the team’s leading assist man with 2.7 per game. Kent State is coached by Rob Senderoff, who has compiled a 51-30 record in three seasons with the Golden Flashes. Senderoff is close friends with Ohio head coach Jim Christian and served as the best man in Christian’s wedding.

The Bobcats and Golden Flashes will meet for the 135th time on the hardwood Wednesday. Kent State is Ohio’s third most common opponent all-time. The Green and White hold a 90-44 all-time edge (.672), including a 2-0 sweep last season for the first time since 2000-01. After defeating KSU, 69-68, at Kent on Jan. 26 last season, the ‘Cats edged the Flashes, 78-75, in overtime on Feb. 16 behind a memorable 3-pointer from Stevie Taylor. The Bobcats have won four of the past five matchups. Ohio and Kent first met during the 1949-50 season, with the Flashes earning a 70-57 home win.

Ohio faces another MAC East rival Sunday at 6 p.m. when Akron pays a visit to the Convo. The game will be televised locally on Time Warner CableSportsChannel and broadcast nationally on ESPN3. Ohio fans also can listen to the contest live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m.