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Ohio Looks To Spin Spiders Sunday

Jon Smith is averaging 11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and shooting 66.7 percent (28-42) over the past six games.

Dec. 20, 2013


ATHENS, Ohio -
The Ohio University men's basketball team (7-3) looks to even its road record Sunday afternoon when the Bobcats battle Richmond (7-3) at the Robins Center.

Sunday's contest marks the second of two straight games for Ohio against Atlantic 10 foes. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Spiders is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Sunday's game will be broadcast live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. Tony Castricone will call the game, with live audio available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to tip (1:30 p.m.). The contest also will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, as well as WTVR CBS 6.3 in the Richmond area.

Fans also can watch a live video stream of the game online via SpiderTV for a fee of $6.95.

Last time out, the Green & White fell to No. 22/20 Massachusetts on Dec. 18 inside the Convocation Center. Ohio was within six (53-47) with 16 minutes to play in the game, but UMass put the game out of reach by holding a +14 advantage (27-13) over the next 13 minutes of action.

Junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal) and senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) both scored in double figures, finishing with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Ndour also added six rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes on the floor.

The Minutemen posted Ohio opponent season highs in points (83) and field goal percentage (.615) in an impressive all-around offensive effort. UMass dished out 20 assists on 32 made baskets and held a 36-34 edge on the glass.

The UMass offensive outburst was a bit of an abberation for an Ohio opponent this season, as the Bobcats have held six of their 10 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the floor. Ohio entered the week ranked 11th nationally in field goal percentage defense and is currently second in the MAC in that category (.392).

Ohio's bench has been a critical part of the team's success this season. In the team's seven wins, the Green & White have held a +21 edge in bench scoring (167-146). In the team's three losses, Ohio's bench has been out-scored, 70-26, by its opponent.

The game between the Bobcats and Spiders pits a pair of recent NCAA Sweet 16 participants, as both Richmond (2011) and Ohio (2012) have made an NCAA regional semifinal appearance in the past three seasons. 

The Bobcats have posted a 1-2 record on the road so far this season. Ohio holds advantages in field goal percentage (.413-.395) and free throw percentage (.723-.673) over its opponents in away contests, but is -6.3 in turnover margin while shooting just 20.8 percent (11-53) from 3-point territory.

In comparison, the Bobcats shoot 34.7 percent (51-147) from 3-point territory at home and are +5.0 in the turnover battle on average. After playing at Richmond on Dec. 22, the Bobcats play one final non-conference away matchup at UNC-Asheville on Jan. 5, before opening MAC play on the road against East Division rival Kent State on Jan. 8.

The Spiders have won eight of their first 11 games of the season and led for much of the game against then-No. 19 North Carolina before falling, 82-72, on Nov. 23. Richmond was picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll after returning 10 letter winners from a 2012-13 squad that won 19 games.

The Spiders are led offensively by preseason All-Atlantic 10 Third Team selection Cedrick Lindsay. The senior guard ranks third in the conference with 18.2 points per game while dishing out 4.6 assists per contest. Sophomore forward Terry Allen averages a team-best 6.5 rebounds per contest and is third on the team wih 10.3 points per game. Richmond is led by 10th year head coach Chris Mooney, who is 155-123 (.558) all-time as the Spiders' skipper.

The Bobcats and Spiders met on the hardwood for the first time last season. The Bobcats won the contest, 73-48, in Athens on Nov. 24, 2012. Current seniors Jon Smith (13) and Nick Kellogg (12) each posted double-figure scoring efforts for the `Cats in the contest.

Ohio has posted a 47-35 (.573) mark all time against teams currently in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bobcats' most common foe is Dayton (21-13), followed by Duquesne (7-6) and St. Bonaventure (4-6).

Ohio plays its final game of 2013 next Monday (Dec. 30) against Longwood (5-7) inside the Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Pre-game coverage on the Ohio IMG Sports Network begins at 6:30 p.m.