Dec. 7, 2013
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ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (6-1) hits the road for the third time this season when the Bobcats take on Horizon League foe Oakland (1-7) on Saturday (Dec. 7) in Rochester, Mich.
Tip-off between the Bobcats and Golden Grizzlies is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Oakland’s Athletics Center O’rena. 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 (5:30 p.m.). The matchup also will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.
The Bobcats are 1-1 on the road this season and 4-1 all-time against the Golden Grizzlies.
Last time out, the Green & White completed their three-game homestand with a perfect 3-0 mark after dispatching of visiting Evansville (81-59) Saturday (Nov. 30) at the Convo. The victory improved Ohio’s record to 6-1, marking the third-straight season in which the ‘Cats have won six of their first seven contests.
Ohio held the Purple Aces to 37.3 percent shooting in the game and 21.4 percent (3-14) from 3-point territory. Evansville had come into the contest averaging 51.8 percent shooting from the floor and 45.1 percent from 3-point land. The Bobcats also held the nation’s fifth-leading scorer – D.J. Balentine (27.0 ppg) – to just 15 points in the contest.
Ohio has held five of its seven opponents under 40 percent shooting from the floor and 30 percent shooting from 3-point territory this season. Ohio ranks 26th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.381) this season.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) led all Ohio scorers with 13 points (3-of-4 3pt FG). The senior has posted at least 10 points in 6-of-7 contests this season and is averaging career bests in points (14.7 ppg), rebounds (4.1 rpg), field goal percentage (.524) and 3-point percentage (.514). He needs just 21 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
The Bobcats captured the Ohio Classic title after posting a 4-0 record in the round-robin series this November. Ohio earned victories over Valparaiso (76-72), Heidelberg (85-57), Mercer (76-67) and Evansville (81-59) as part of the event.
OHIO TAKES THREE OF FIRST FOUR MAC EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK NODS
After senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) garnered the honor on Nov. 11, junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal) has now been named MAC East Player of the Week twice in the past three weeks. This past week, Ndour averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and shot 58 percent (11-19) from the field while leading Ohio to two home wins against teams ranked in the top-70 of the RPI (Mercer, Evansville).
EARLY RPI RETURNS
Ohio’s difficult schedule to open the season is paying dividends, as the Bobcats check in at No. 33 in the RPI according to Wednesday’s daily report from ESPN.com. The Bobcats currently hold wins over top-100 opponents Northern Iowa (38), Mercer (50) and Evansville (86).
A LOOK AT OAKLAND (1-7)
Oakland lost their first seven games of the season before beating Rochester College on Saturday, 86-51, in the team’s home opener. The Grizzlies are battle-tested, as their losses have come against North Carolina, No. 18/17 UCLA and No. 19/15 Gonzaga as well as close losses at California and Western Michigan.
Oakland is led by senior guard Travis Bader. He ranks 23rd in the country in scoring with 22.3 points per game. He also leads the nation with 4.6 3-pointers made per contest and led the country in triples made in the country last season. The Bobcats have first-hand knowledge of Bader’s exploits, as he poured in 29 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc against Ohio last December in a 78-61 victory for the Bobcats. Junior forward Corey Petros is the team’s inside presence, averaging 11.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game for the Golden Grizzlies.
HISTORY vs. OAKLAND
Ohio and Oakland have met five previous times on the court. The first came in the Tim O’Shea era on Dec. 22, 2000, when the Bobcats won, 92-85, in Athens. The ‘Cats are 1-1 all time at Oakland, including an 84-82 win in 2011 when Stevie Taylor (13) and T.J. Hall (12) each scored in double figures for the Bobcats. Last season, Ohio won 78-61 in Athens.
HISTORY vs. HORIZON LEAGUE OPPONENTS
The Green & White have posted a 42-12 (.778) all-time record against teams currently in the Horizon League, including a 76-72 triumph over Valparaiso on Nov. 17 at the Convocation Center. Ohio’s most common opponent is Youngstown State (14-4), followed by Cleveland State (9-2) and Wright State (8-2).
Ohio returns to action next Saturday (Dec. 14) with a home contest against SWAC opponent Alabama A&M (2-4). Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. Pre-game coverage on the Ohio IMG Sports Network begins at 1:30 p.m.