Feb. 11, 2014
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TOLEDO, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (17-6, 7-3) heads to Northwest Ohio Wednesday for a critical re-match with West Division-leading Toledo (20-3, 8-2) at 7 p.m.
The Last Meeting
February 1, 2014
Ohio Outlasts Toledo 95-90 in Overtime
Fueled by a pair of career-best scoring performances by juniors Maurice Ndour and Stevie Taylor, the Ohio University men's basketball team defeated Toledo 95-90 in overtime in front of over 9,000 fans inside the Convocation Center.
The ‘Cats won the first matchup of the season series, 95-90 (OT), on Feb. 1 in Athens. Wednesday’s game will be the second between the teams in just 11 days.
Wednesday’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 6:30 p.m.
Last time out, Ohio rallied from a 16-point second half deficit (54-38) to defeat rival Miami, 82-75, at the Convo on Saturday. After giving up 47 first half points, Ohio out-scored the RedHawks 50-28 in the second half.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg led Ohio with a career-best 27 points (10-18 FG) and dished out four assists in the game. Fellow senior Travis Wilkins added a career-high 23 points and made 6-of-8 3-point field goal attempts. The duo combined for 28 points in the second half during the ‘Cats big comeback.
Kellogg now ranks 22nd all-time at Ohio with 1,221 career points. He is just three triples away from tying Tommy Freeman for second all-time at Ohio (259) in 3-pointers made.
Wilkins’ six 3-pointers were the most by a Bobcat since Walter Offutt hit six against top-ranked North Carolina on March 23, 2012 in the NCAA Sweet 16. Wilkins ranks fourth in the MAC in conference play in 3-point field goal percentage (.444) and is t-6th in 3-pointers made/game (2.0).
Ohio has seen a marked improvement offensively over the past three contests. The ‘Cats have averaged 83.7 ppg and shot 52.8 percent from the field, including a 42.9 percent mark from 3-point territory (65.7/.425/.322 over first seven MAC games). The ‘Cats have made 11 3-pointers in each of the past three contests.
Ohio has overcome a second-half deficit of 10+ points in six of its last 13 games. The 'Cats are 7-4 when trailing at the half this season.
The Green & White are averaging 19.0 assists over their past three games. The Bobcats are second in the MAC with 14.5 assists/game this season. Ohio is 10-1 when distributing 15 or more assists.
THREE GOGGLES COME INTO FOCUS IN CONFERENCE PLAY
The Bobcats have knocked down 3-pointers with a purpose during conference play. The Green & White rank second in the MAC with 7.1 3-pointers made/game in league games. Ohio also is second in 3-point field goal percentage (.359). Over the past three games, the Bobcats have averaged 11.0 3-pointers made/game while shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
MANAGING THE MAC WEST
Ohio has won 11 of its past 12 games against MAC West opponents, including a 5-1 mark this season. Ohio swept the division (6-0) in 2012-13 for the first time since divisional play began in 1997-98. The ‘Cats are 39-15 (.722) against the West Division in regular season contests since the start of the 2005-06 campaign.
SENIORS SET SIGHTS ON WINS RECORD
The 2013-14 Ohio senior class of T.J. Hall, Ricardo Johnson, Nick Kellogg, Jon Smith and Travis Wilkins has a chance to surpass last year’s senior contingent as the all-time winningest class in Ohio history. This season’s senior quintet has combined for 89 wins, just five off the record of 94 set by Ivo Baltic, D.J. Cooper, Nick Goff, Reggie Keely, David McKinley and Walter Offutt.
CARDIAC ‘CATS KEEP COMING BACK
In six of its past 13 games (including three of past five), Ohio has rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to overtake its opponent and escape with a victory. The Bobcats have faced deficits of 10 (at Richmond), 11 (vs. Toledo), 12 (at UNC-Asheville), 13 (at Eastern Michigan), 16 (vs. Miami) and 18 (vs. Central Michigan) while winning all six contests.
In those games, Ohio has held an average scoring margin of +10.7 in the second half while putting together a 47.3 field goal percentage and 39.7 3-point field goal percentage. The ‘Cats also have gotten back into the game by playing excellent defense while holding their opponents to 37.7 percent shooting from the field and 27.5 percent from 3-point land in those second halves.
A LOOK AT TOLEDO (20-3, 8-2)
Since dropping a 95-90 contest to the Bobcats on Feb. 1, the Rockets have posted back-to-back victories over Bowling Green (83-76) and at Ball State (80-73). Toledo currently leads the MAC West with an 8-2 league record. The Rockets enter the week 10th in the nation in scoring (83.3 ppg), 14th in assist/turnover ratio, 23rd in field goal percentage (.480) and 28th in assists per game (15.6 apg).
Toledo is led by junior point guard Julius Brown, who ranks second on the team with 14.5 points per game and is eighth in the nation with 6.6 assists per game. Preseason All-MAC selection Rian Pearson ranks third on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), while Ohio State transfer J.D. Weatherspoon is the team’s leading rebounder (6.8 rpg.). Leading scorer Justin Drummond (14.6 ppg) will not suit up for the Rockets Wednesday due to a one-game suspension.
HISTORY vs. TOLEDO
The Bobcats and Rockets will meet on the hardwood for the 123rd time Saturday. Toledo is the Bobcats’ fifth most common opponent all time. Ohio holds a 68-54 edge (.557) in the all-time series and has won seven of the last eight matchups.
The teams first met during the 1930-31 season at Toledo, with the Rockets earning a 15-13 win. The Bobcats and Rockets played one of the more memorable games of the 2013-14 MAC season on Feb. 1, with Ohio earning a 95-90, overtime win in Athens. Ohio and Toledo have met twice in the past three MAC Tournaments, with Ohio winning both meetings in 2011 (First Round, 74-57) and 2012 (Quarters, 65-57).
Ohio continues its two-game road swing with the first of two important MAC East battles with Buffalo (13-7, 7-3) on Saturday (Feb. 15). Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. inside Alumni Arena. Pre-game coverage on the Ohio IMG Sports Network begins at 2 p.m.