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Ohio Continues MAC Play Saturday At Western Michigan

Junior Ricardo Johnson had nine points and seven rebounds last season against the Broncos.

Jan. 11, 2013

Ohio vs. Western Michigan - Game Notes | Listen Live | Live Stats

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University men’s basketball team (10-5, 1-0) heads to Kalamazoo, Mich., Saturday for a 2 p.m. tilt with MAC West Division foe Western Michigan (8-6, 0-1) at the University Center.

The matchup will be broadcast on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live from Kalamazoo. Streaming audio will be available on OhioBobcats.com, beginning 30 minutes prior to tip (1:30 p.m.).

Last time out, Ohio defeated Buffalo, 86-68, in its MAC opener Wednesday (Jan. 9) inside the Convocation Center. Senior Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) posted a career-high 19 points, while senior guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) added 21 points and seven assists. As a team, Ohio shot 50.8 percent and limited the Bulls to just 38.2 percent (21-55) from the floor. The ‘Cats have now held their opponent under 40 percent shooting for two straight games.

Ohio posted 26 assists against Buffalo. The ‘Cats are averaging an impressive 25.2 assists over the past five games and lead the nation in that category with 19.6 assists per contest. The school record for assists per game is 18.2, set by the 1978-79 Bobcats. Cooper ranks second in the nation with 8.4 assists per contest and is two shy of moving into the top-25 all-time on the Division I assists list (818).

On the year, Ohio also ranks eighth in the country in turnover margin (+5.4), ninth in steals (10.0 spg), 11th in 3-pointers made per contest (8.8) and 15th in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).

Scouting The Broncos (8-6, 0-1)

The Bobcats and Broncos will meet on the hardwood for the 123rd time Saturday. Western Michigan is Ohio’s fourth most common opponent all time. The ‘Cats hold a 63-59 edge in the all-time series and have won three of the last four matchups. The teams first met during the 1939-40 season, with Ohio earning a 60-40 victory. In the most recent meeting, the ‘Cats defeated the Broncos, 56-51, last season on Jan. 25, 2012 at the Convocation Center.

The Broncos have posted an 8-6 record this season and a perfect 4-0 mark in home contests. In its last game on Jan. 9, Western Michigan dropped its MAC opener at Akron, 65-43. Sophomore guard Richie Austin led the Broncos with 11 points, while freshman forward Darius Paul added six points and six rebounds.

Senior forward Nate Hutcheson leads Western Michigan this season with 12.1 points per game and ranks third on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg). Shayne Whittington ranks second in the MAC in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and is third on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg). Austin paces the Broncos with 3.5 assists per game.

Western Michigan is coached by Steve Hawkins, who is in his 10th season. He has compiled a 167-138 (.548) all-time record during his time in Kalamazoo.

Next Game

Ohio will hit the road for the first time in MAC play to face Western Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 2 p.m. The matchup can be heard for free on OhioBobcats.com. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon.