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Men's Basketball Renews Rivalry With Akron Sunday

Junior Maurice Ndour and the Bobcats take on the Zips Sunday at 6 p.m.

Jan. 10, 2014


ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (11-3, 1-0) hosts its first Mid-American Conference game Sunday at 6 p.m. when the ‘Cats welcome divisional rival Akron (9-5, 1-0) to the Convocation Center.

The 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 also can 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 begins at 5:30 p.m.

Ohio (2010, 2012) and Akron (2009, 2011, 2013) have combined to represent the MAC in the past five NCAA Tournaments. The teams have faced off in three MAC title games over that span, with Ohio winning two of the three contests.

Ohio has put together an impressive string of performances in the Mid-American Conference over the past few seasons. The Bobcats have won 25 of their past 30 MAC regular season contests, including a 14-2 mark last season. The ‘Cats have won 20 of their past 21 league games at home and nine of their past 10 MAC road contests.

Ohio is No. 57 in the latest NCAA RPI report released Friday. The ‘Cats own wins over three top-100 teams: Northern Iowa (64), Mercer (79) and Richmond (82). Two of Ohio’s losses have come to top-10 RPI squads: UMass (4) and Ohio State (8).

Last time out, Ohio opened MAC play with a 59-53 win at Kent State on Wednesday inside the M.A.C. Center. It marked Ohio’s second-straight win in its MAC opener and the first time Ohio opened with a league road win since 2001-02.

Ohio held KSU to just 28.3 percent shooting (17-60) for the game, including a 4-for-22 mark (.182) from beyond the arc. Over the past three games, Ohio has held opponents to a combined 30.6 percent from the floor and 26.8 percent from 3-point land.

Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) led all scorers with 19 points while chipping in six rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes on the floor.

Kellogg was one of three Bobcats with seven or more rebounds, as senior guard/forward T.J. Hall (Gainesville, Fla.) grabbed a game-high nine boards to go along with seven points and two blocks.

Senior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) knocked down two key 3-pointers in the second half and finished with eight points and a career-high seven rebounds, while senior forward Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio) tallied seven points, four rebounds and four blocks for the `Cats.

A LOOK AT AKRON (9-5, 1-0)
The Zips were picked to finish first in the MAC East Division in the league’s preseason poll. Akron posted an 8-5 record during their non-conference slate, including wins over Oregon State and Cleveland State. The Zips dropped three of their final five non-conference tilts.

Akron is paced offensively by preseason All-MAC pick Demetrius Treadwell, who leads the team with 12.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Treadwell has posted four double-doubles on the season. Senior forward Quincy Diggs paces the team in assists (2.9/game) and is second on the Zips in scoring with 12.2 ppg. Akron is coached by Keith Dambrot, who has accumulated a 218-99 (.688) mark in 10 seasons.

The Bobcats and Zips will meet for the 70th time on the hardwood Saturday. The Green & White hold a 35-34 (.507) edge in the all-time series, but have dropped the last three games between the teams. The Bobcats have won two of the last three matchups in Athens. Ohio and Akron first met during the 1911-12 season, with the Zips earning a 21-18 win in Athens. The two teams have met in three of the past four MAC Tournament finals, with Ohio winning two of the three contests (2010, 2012).

Ohio plays its first MAC West opponent Wednesday when the ‘Cats take on Ball State (3-9, 0-1) at 8 p.m. inside 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 7:30 p.m.