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Ohio Opens CIT Wednesday vs. Cleveland State

Junior guard Bean Willis averaged 13.3 ppg during the MAC Tournament

March 18, 2014


ATHENS, Ohio –
The Ohio University men’s basketball team (23-11, 11-7 MAC) will open its 21st post-season appearance in program history with a matchup against Cleveland State (21-11, 12-4 Horizon) in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) Wednesday. The Bobcats posted a 1-1 record in their only other appearance in the CIT in 2011.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. Wednesday’s game 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 stream is available on OhioBobcats.com, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition, a live video stream of the game will be made available via www.watchcollegeinsider.com. Fans must register to watch, but the stream is available at no additional cost to the user.

The Bobcats have recorded a 11-20 (.355) all-time record in post-season tournaments, not including the MAC Championship. Ohio has made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and earned five berths in the NIT. Ohio garnered a CBI bid in 2008 and has made the CIT in 2011 and 2014.

The Green & White are making their school-record fifth-consecutive post-season tournament appearance. Ohio is one of just six Division I schools to earn five-straight post-season berths in football and men’s basketball. The others are Wisconsin, Florida State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and BYU.

Ohio posted a 2-1 record in the 2014 MAC Tournament, including wins over Ball State (76-64) in first round action in Athens and Miami (63-55) in a second round game at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Bobcats fell to Akron (83-77) in the MAC Quarters on Thursday. Nick Kellogg posted a game-high 25 points (4-6 3pt FG) in the contest and averaged 20.7 ppg over the three games of the tournament. He was named to the MAC All-Tournament Team on Saturday. Kellogg was the only player on the team to not play in the tournament final.

Kellogg made seven 3-pointers during the tournament and now has posted a MAC-best 284 triples in his career.

Junior point guard Javarez Willis averaged 13.7 ppg, 3.3 apg and a 47.4 3pt FG% in three games during the MAC Tournament. The Homer, La., native has posted 10+ points in Ohio's last five games and is averaging 14.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 54.8 3pt field goal percentage (17-31) during the stretch.

Ohio posted a 1-1 record in the team’s only other appearance in the CIT in 2011. The ‘Cats opened the event with a 65-64 win at Marshall, before falling at ETSU, 82-73, in second round action. Current Ohio seniors Nick Kellogg and T.J. Hall played in the event as freshmen. Hall averaged 5.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg and shot 50.0 percent (4-8) over the two games, while Kellogg averaged 9.0 points, 2.5 assists and shot 50.0 percent from 3-point territory. Kellogg posted 15 points against ETSU in the second round.

A LOOK AT THE VIKINGS (21-11, 12-4)
Cleveland State posted has posted a 21-11 record this season and finished second in the Horizon League standings with a 12-4 mark in conference play. The Vikings fell in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament to Wright State (68-63). CSU posted a 2-2 record against MAC teams during the team’s non-conference slate, including wins over Ball State (78-55) and at Kent State (78-70). CSU also fell to Akron at home (73-61) and dropped a 71-67 contest at Toledo.

An excellent shooting team, CSU ranks second nationally with a 40.9 team 3-point field goal percentage and is 17th in the country with a 75.0 free throw percentage. CSU also ranks 41st in the nation in field goal percentage (.471). The Vikings are led by All-Horizon League Second Team selection Bryn Forbes, who paces CSU in scoring (15.4 ppg) and is shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point territory. Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year Jon Harris is third on the team with 10.4 ppg and ranks second on the Vikings with 6.0 rebounds per contest.

The Bobcats and Vikings will meet for the 12th time on the hardwood Wednesday. Ohio holds a 9-2 lead in the all-time series, although the teams have met just twice since the 1979-80 season. Ohio and Cleveland State first met during the 1972-73 season, with Ohio winning 98-76 in Athens. In the most recent meetings, the Bobcats dispatched of the Vikings, 87-82, on Nov. 12, 1999 at the Convocation Center.

If Ohio defeats Cleveland State on Wednesday, the Bobcats will play a CIT Second Round game either Friday or Saturday (March 21 or 22). The opponent and location is TBD.