Jan. 24, 2014
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The Last Meeting
February 20, 2013
Balanced Attack Helps Ohio Top Eastern Michigan, 73-50
Ohio made its first seven shots from the field en route to an early 17-3 lead and never looked back as the Bobcats topped Eastern Michigan 73-50 Wednesday night for their fifth consecutive win. The Bobcats moved to 20-6 (11-1 MAC) with the win, while Eastern Michigan fell to 12-14 (5-7).
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (13-4, 3-2) looks to move to 3-0 in MAC road games this season when the Bobcats travel to Ypsilanti for a matchup with Eastern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 25).
Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. at EMU’s Convocation Center. Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Dan Gutowsky will handle play-by-play duties, while Sean Harrington will provide color commentary.
In addition, the game will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein on the call. Pre-game coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. The Ohio IMG Sports Network includes 16 affiliates in southeast Ohio and West Virginia.
The game marks the first of two Ohio appearances on ESPNU in the next eight days. The 'Cats also host Toledo on the network on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m.
Saturday's contest features two of the top three defenses in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio ranks second in the MAC in both field goal percentage defense (.380) and scoring defense (63.1 ppg), while EMU ranks first (.375) and third (64.4) in the categories, respectively.
Ohio entered the week ranked 12th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.380) and 34th in scoring defense (63.1). The ‘Cats are 12-1 when holding their opponent to 70 points or less this season and 11-1 when they limit their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting.
Ohio has won 10 of its past 11 MAC road contests, which marks the best streak in program history. Overall, the Bobcats have won 18 of their past 22 MAC regular season contests.
Last time out, Ohio dropped a 58-56 contest against Bowling Green. The Bobcats opened the game on a 15-4 run and led 33-30 at halftime, but BGSU forced Ohio into 18 turnovers and held a +14 edge in points in the paint to outscore Ohio in the second half (28-23) and earn the win.
The ‘Cats were -5 (18-13) in turnover margin against the Falcons. Ohio is now just 3-4 when it commits more turnovers than its opponent this season.
MANAGING THE MAC WEST
Ohio is 36-14 (.720) against the MAC West Division in regular season contests since the start of the 2005-06 campaign. Ohio has won eight-straight games against West opponents and swept the division (6-0) last season for the first time since divisional play began in 1997-98.
DEFENSE CARRYING BOBCATS IN LEAGUE PLAY
Ohio has put together an outstanding defense effort over its first five league games, as the ‘Cats lead the conference in field goal percentage defense (.353) and are second in scoring defense (58.2). The ‘Cats have held four of their five MAC opponents to less than 60 points and under 40 percent shooting from the field. The stellar defense has made up for Ohio’s offensive struggles, as Ohio is eighth in the league in scoring offense (66.2 ppg) and 12th in offensive rebounds per game (7.4) in MAC play.
A LOOK AT EASTERN MICHIGAN (11-7, 3-2)
The Eagles were picked to finish third out of six teams in the MAC West Division in the league’s preseason poll. EMU has posted an 11-7 mark while playing the 11th most difficult schedule in the nation. The Eagles played contests at No. 2/2 Syracuse, No. 14/14 Kentucky, No. 18/18 Duke and hosted No. 13/12 Massachusetts in the non-conference schedule. In MAC play, EMU has earned victories over BGSU (56-51), Western Michigan (56-37) and Central Michigan (72-59).
The Eagles lead the conference in field goal percentage defense (.375) and are third in the MAC in scoring defense (64.4 ppg). Two Eagles rank in the top-6 of the conference in blocks, including Da’Shonte Riley (3.0 bpg, 2nd) and preseason all-conference pick Glenn Bryant (1.8 bpg). Junior forward Karrington Ward leads the team in scoring (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg), while Duquesne transfer Mike Talley leads the team in assists (3.7 apg) and is third on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg). Third year head coach Rob Murphy has posted a 41-43 record at Eastern Michigan.
HISTORY vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN
The Bobcats and Eagles will meet for the 69th time on the hardwood Wednesday. The Green and White hold a 45-23 edge (.662) in the all-time series. Ohio has won five-straight meetings in Athens but has not escaped Ypsilanti with a victory since 2006. Ohio and Eastern Michigan first met during the 1972-73 season, with the Bobcats earning an 89-73 road win. Last season, Ohio won 73-50 in Athens on February 20, 2013.
Ohio returns home for a matchup against MAC West foe Central Michigan on Wednesday (Jan. 29). Tip-off from the Convocation Center is scheduled for 7 p.m., with pre-game coverage on the Ohio IMG Sports Network beginning at 6:30 p.m.