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Ohio And Miami Renew `Battle of the Bricks' Series Saturday

Senior guard Travis Wilkins is averaging 7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg and leading Ohio in assist/turnover ratio (2.2) in conference play.

Feb. 7, 2014


The Last Meeting
Miami (Oh)54
March 9, 2013
Athens, Ohio
Ohio Shares MAC Title With 58-54 Win Over Miami
The Ohio University men's basketball team (23-8, 14-2 MAC) earned a share of the 2013 MAC regular season title after defeating rival Miami, 58-54, on Saturday afternoon inside the Convocation Center.

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (16-6, 6-3) plays the first of two important “Battle of the Bricks” rivalry games with Miami University (9-11, 5-4) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bobcats have won the past four matchups in the series.

The Bobcat and RedHawks will tip at 2 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.

Saturday’s game will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and streamed nationally on ESPN3. Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play duties while Dave Cecutti will provide color commentary.

The game also will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. A live audio/video stream is available on OhioBobcats.com, with pre-game coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The Green & White are 48-6 (.889) in their past 54 home games, including a 10-3 mark this season.

Last time out, the 'Cats saw their five-game road winning streak come to an end, as Ohio fell at Western Michigan, 90-74, on Wednesday in Kalamazoo. Ohio led 57-54 with 9:27 to play, but was out-scored by WMU 36-17 in the game’s final minutes.

Four Bobcats scored in double figures in the game, led by junior forward Maurice Ndour who posted his third-straight 20+ point effort with 20 points (9-15 FG) and six rebounds. Ndour’s the first Bobcat to post at least 20 points in three-straight games since D.J. Cooper accomplished the feat in a three-game stretch from Nov. 27-Dec. 8, 2010.

Senior guard Nick Kellogg posted 13 points, while T.J. Hall and Stevie Taylor each tallied 12. Taylor's averaging 14.3 ppg and shooting 53.8 percent over Ohio's past four games.

After allowing just 59.1 ppg and limiting their opponents to 35.9 percent shooting over the first seven conference games (5-2), Ohio has allowed its opponents to score 90.0 ppg and shoot 51.2 percent over the past two contests (1-1).

Despite some of the defensive struggles, Ohio has seen a marked improvement offensively over the past two contests. The 'Cats have averaged 84.5 ppg and shot 52.9 percent from the field, including a 45.8 percent mark from 3-point territory. The 'Cats have made 11 3-pointers in each of the past two contests, which ties a season high.

Ohio is averaging 18.0 assists over its past two games, including a MAC-high 22 vs. Toledo on Feb. 1. The Green & White are third in the MAC with 14.2 assists/game this season. Ohio is 9-1 when distributing 15 or more assists.

With 45 blocks over Ohio’s first 22 games, Jon Smith has increased his career blocks total to 138, placing him in a tie for fifth place in the Ohio record books. Smith needs just one block to pass Leon Williams (138) and move into fourth place all time.

Since the injury to starting guard/forward Ricardo Johnson on Jan. 4, senior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) has transformed from a 3-point specialist into one of Ohio’s most dependable all-around players. In conference play, Wilkins ranks fifth on the Bobcats in scoring (7.1 rpg) and is fourth in rebounding (3.3 rpg) and third in assists (2.2 apg) while shooting 37.8 percent from long range. After playing 15.2 minutes per game in non-conference play, Wilkins is now averaging 25.2 in MAC games and is often the first player off the bench for Ohio. His hustle plays and late rebounds were a key reason why Ohio came back to win at EMU on Jan. 25.

A LOOK AT MIAMI (9-11, 5-4)
The RedHawks were picked to finish fifth out of six teams in the MAC East in the league’s 2013-14 preseason poll. Miami posted a 4-7 record in non-conference play before opening #MACtion with a 5-4 record. The RedHawks have won four of their past six league games and are 3-2 in road games in conference play.

Miami leads the conference in free throw percentage (.750) and is fifth in the MAC in field goal percentage (.439). The team is paced offensively by senior forward Will Felder, who ranks ninth in the MAC in scoring (14.2 ppg) and is seventh in rebounding (7.2 rpg). Senior guard Quinten Rollins is the team’s leading assists man (4.0 apg) and is averaging 6.6 points per game for Miami.

The Bobcats and RedHawks will meet in the 192nd edition of the “Battle of the Bricks” Saturday. Rival Miami is Ohio’s most-common opponent in the 107 year history of the program. The ‘Cats hold a 100-91 edge (.521) in the all-time series. Ohio has won the last four meetings between the teams and four of the past five matchups in Athens. The teams first met during the 1907-08 season in Oxford, with the RedHawks earning a 24-8 win. Ohio swept the series in 2012-13, including a 74-62 matchup inside Millett Hall on Jan. 23, 2013. The Bobcats won in Athens (58-54) on March 23 to claim a share of the 2012-13 MAC regular season title.

Ohio hits the road for a key re-match with West Division-leading Toledo on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel/ESPN3. Pre-game coverage on the Ohio IMG Sports Network begins at 6:30 p.m.