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Men's Basketball Matches Up With Evansville Saturday

Kellogg is just 36 points away from 1,000 for his career.

Nov. 29, 2013


ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (5-1) looks to finish the 2013 Ohio Classic with a 4-0 record when the Green & White take on Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville (5-1) Saturday at 2 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. The Bobcats and Aces have split four all-time meetings.

Tip-off between the Bobcats and Purple Aces is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the game, with live audio/video available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to tip (1:30 p.m.). The Ohio IMG Sports Network includes 16 radio affiliates throughout southern Ohio and West Virginia.

Saturday’s contest is the third of three home games in eight days for the Bobcats. The three-game homestand is Ohio’s longest of the 2013-14 campaign.

From Nov. 17-Nov. 30, Ohio will host four contests as part of the Ohio Classic. The round-robin event includes matchups with Valparaiso (W, 76-72), Heidelberg (W, 85-57), Mercer (W, 76-67) and Evansville (Saturday).

Last time out, the Bobcats picked up their fourth-straight win with a 76-67 win over Mercer (4-3). After trailing 19-11 in the first half, Ohio closed the stanza on a 30-12 run and led by as many as 20 (57-37) in the second half.

Junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal) posted his third 20-point effort of 2013-14 and the first double-double of his career with 23 points and 11 boards against the Bears. Fellow big man, senior Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio), also poured in 16 points and grabbed seven offensive rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes on the floor.

Smith and Ndour’s work on the glass helped Ohio grab a +12 (42-30) rebounding edge against a Bears team that entered the game with a +9.8 average margin on the glass. After being out-rebounded by an average of 5.7 boards per contest over the first two games, Ohio has held a +15.5 average margin over the past two games.

After shooting a combined .655 (78-119) from the free throw line over the first five games, Ohio made 27-of-32 (.844) attempts from the charity stripe against Mercer.

Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) needs just 34 points to become the 36th 1,000-point scorer in Ohio history. In other Kellogg milestone news, the senior started his 100th career game against Valparaiso and is now sixth all-time in that category at Ohio (103).

Evansville opened the season with five straight wins before dropping a 77-46 contest at No. 25 Indiana Tuesday night. The Purple Aces have defeated Mercer (89-76) and Valparaiso (100-92) as part of the Ohio Classic. The team was picked to finish sixth out of 10 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll. Evansville returns seven letter winners from a 21-15 team that reached the CIT semifinals in 2012-13.

The team is led by sophomore guard D.J. Balantine, who ranks in the top-10 nationally with 27.0 points per game. He has notched at least 29 points in five of six games this season. Freshman guard Duane Gibson is the team’s leading rebounder (4.7 rpg) and assists man (6.0 apg), and is third on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg).

Ohio and Evansville have met on four previous occasions on the basketball court. The teams first played during the 1940-41 season in Evansville, where the Purple Aces won by a slim 58-57 margin. In the most recent meeting, the Bobcats won a 75-68 contest in Athens on November 26, 1990.

The Green & White have posted a 25-19 all-time record against teams currently in the Missouri Valley Conference. Ohio’s most common MVC opponent is new member Loyola-Chicago. Ohio has notched a 10-11 mark all-time against the Ramblers. The Bobcats defeated MVC foe Northern Iowa (75-64) on Nov. 9 to open the 2013-14 regular season.

The Bobcats have a week off before hitting the road to take on new Horizon League member Oakland (0-7) on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in Rochester, Mich. The game will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with live video also available on the Horizon League Network. Ohio leads the all-time series with the Golden Grizzlies, 4-1.