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Ohio Men's Basketball Returns To Convo To Face Mount St. Mary's

Ohio Men's Basketball Returns To Convo To Face Mount St. Mary's

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By Mike Ashcraft
OhioBobcats.com

Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
Live Stats: PrimeTime
Game Notes: Ohio (PDF) | Mount St. Mary's (PDF)

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (2-2) hosts Mount St. Mary's in a Black Friday (Nov. 24) special at the Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The contest will be broadcast on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with Marty Bannister filling in for 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. There will be no video stream available for Friday's game.

OHIO PLACES SEVENTH AT 2017 CHARLESTON CLASSIC
Ohio went 1-2 last weekend at the 2017 Gildan Charleston Classic, placing seventh in the tournament that was held at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.

After falling to Clemson, 81-76, on Nov. 16 and in-state rival Dayton, 79-65, the following day, Ohio clawed back from an 18-point deficit and outlasted Indiana State in quadruple overtime, 96-94, on Sunday (Nov. 19) in the seventh-place game.

QUADRUPLE THE FUN
The win over Indiana State saw the Bobcats play their first four-overtime contest since Dec. 18, 2010, and prevail in quadruple overtime for the first time since a 112-104 win over Mid-American Conference rival Akron on Jan. 8, 2003.

COMEBACK 'CATS
Ohio's rally from 18 down in the victory over Indiana State represented the program's largest comeback win of fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips' tenure.

SO YOU'RE SAYIN' THERE'S A CHANCE
Per the college basketball analytics website KenPom.com, Ohio had a 0.3 percent chance of defeating Indiana State when the Bobcats trailed the Sycamores by a 77-68 count with 48 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Ohio refused to give in, though, and went on a 13-4 run in the final 40 seconds. A layup by senior guard Mike Laster, (Detroit, Mich.), an and-one layup by freshman guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.), two more free throws by Kirk and a triple by junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) made it a two-point affair at 80-78 with 23 seconds left. Sophomore guard Jordan Barnes made the second of two free throws with 20 seconds left to extend Indiana State's lead to 81-78, but junior guard/forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) saved the Bobcats by knocking down a three with 13 seconds left to tie it back up.

90=VICTORY
After the win over Indiana State, Ohio is now a perfect 11-0 when scoring at least 90 points in the Phillips' era. 

20x3
Laster scored a career-high 25 points to lead all scorers in the win over Indiana State, making a career-high nine field goals and match his career high with three made treys. He also posted a career-high seven rebounds and tied his career high with three assists over 49 minutes. Dartis made a career-high eight field goals -- including four triples -- to finish with 21 points. He also tied his career high with seven rebounds and added two assists and a steal in 54 minutes. Kirk totaled a career-high 20 points off of a 7-of-16 shooting effort from the field and a 6-of-7 performance from the free throw line. He also grabbed a career-high six boards, totaled a career-high four steals and dished out a team-high four assists in 50 minutes of work.

GETTING AFTER IT ON THE GLASS
Ohio accumulated 55 rebounds in the win over Indiana State. The last time the Bobcats hauled in at least 50 boards in a game was Dec. 30, 2013, when Ohio grabbed 52 in a 78-43 win over Longwood.

Junior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) paced Ohio's effort on the glass in the victory over the Sycamores, recording a career-high 15 rebounds. He tallied double-digit boards for the second time in four games to start 2017-18 after pulling down a game-high 12 in Ohio's 61-53 win over Alabama A&M in the 2017-18 regular season opener on Nov. 11 at the Convocation Center. As a sophomore in 2016-17, Taylor posted a career-high 147 rebounds (4.7 per game) to rank second on the team.

SHOOTERS SHOOT
After shooting just 2-of-10 from the field -- including -- 2-of-6 from three -- in a six-point performance against Alabama A&M, Dartis made his stroke at the Charleston Classic, averaging a team-high 19.3 points (58 points). He tallied 18 points off of four made field goals -- including a pair of triples -- in addition to making all eight of his attempts from the free throw line against Clemson. He then went 7-of-12 from the field with three triples en route to scoring a team-high 19 points against Dayton. He saved his best for last with the 21-point effort in the victory over Indiana State. Dartis has scored at least 20 points in a game seven times in his career, more than any other player on Ohio's roster.

BUILDING BLOCK
After finishing a rebound short of a double-double with 12 points and nine boards to go along with a game-high five assists in 35 mintues in the win over Alabama A&M in the season opener, Block averaged 15.0 points and 2.7 assists to rank second on the team and 7.7 rebounds to lead the team over three games at the Charleston Classic. He scored a career-high 22 points to lead all scorers and achieved his first career double-double with a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the team in addition to logging an assist and a steal in 34 minutes of work against Clemson. He then just missed out on a second-straight double-double with 14 points and a team-high nine boards in addition to distributing a team-high four assists in 34 minutes of work against Dayton.

ROOKIE PLAYING LIKE A VET
Kirk has impressed through his first four games as a Bobcat. Starting at point guard in every contest, he is averaging 14.5 points per game to rank second on the team and is shooting a team-best 50 percent (23-of-46) from the field. He is the lone Bobcat to tally double-digit points in all four contests. He is also averaging a team-high 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. 

Ohio beat Alabama A&M behind a game-high 16 points from Kirk. In his debut for the Bobcats, he also added four rebounds, two assists and a steal over 32 minutes in his first career start. Kirk notched 10 points, a game-high six assists, four rebounds and a steal in 28 minutes against Clemson, then logged 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal over 27 minutes against Dayton in the Charleston Classic. He saved his best for last Charleston with a 20-point effort that saw him score a combined 12 points over the final three overtimes to help the Bobcats clinch the win over the Sycamores.

YEAR FOUR OF PHILLIPS ERA
Ohio enters its fourth season under the direction of Phillips in 2017-18. Phillips has led the Bobcats to 55 wins over the past three-plus seasons. He coached his 100th game on the Ohio bench in the quadruple overtime triumph over Indiana State in the Charleston Classic.

SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
Mount St. Mary's went 20-16 in 2016-17 -- including a 14-4 mark in Northeast Conference play. The Mountaineers earned the league's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Championship field with a perfect 3-0 run through the conference tournament that culminated in a 71-61 triumph over Saint Francis in the NEC title game. The Mount outlasted New Orleans, 67-66, in the NCAA Championship First Four before bowing out to Villanova, 76-56, in First Round action.

Jamion Christian is in his sixth season as head coach at his alma mater. He has guided the Mountaineers to a pair of March Madness appearances, with the first coming in 2014. Mount St. Mary's is off to a 2-3 start so far in 2017-18. The Mount opened the year with three-straight road losses to Marquette (80-59, Nov. 10), Notre Dame (88-62, Nov. 13) and Georgetown (102-68, Nov. 15) but has bounced back with victories over North Florida (84-81, Nov. 18) and York (91-80, Nov. 21).

Christian is faced with the challenge of replacing three transfers who helped lead Mount St. Mary's to a championship last year -- guard Elijah Long (Texas), who averaged 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists en route to earning First Team All-NEC honors, guard Miles Wilson (Miami), who averaged 11.8 points as a freshman last year, and forward Mawdo Sallah, who moved on to Kansas State as a graduate transfer after averaging 6.1 points and 5.3 rebounds a season ago. The Mountaineers were picked to finish fourth in the NEC's 2017-18 preseason poll. 

The Mount does return a dynamic senior, however, in 5-foot-5-inch guard Junior Robinson who averaged 14.1 points and shot 39.8 percent from three-point range a year ago. Through five games in 2017-18, Robinson is averaging 21.4 points and is shooting 45.2 percent (38-of-84) from the field. Also averaging double figures in points are redshirt freshman guard Jonah Antonio and senior guard Greg Alexander at 12.8 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Antonio is also averaging a team-hign 5.2 boards per game. Freshman guard Donald Carey has distributed a team-high 6.2 assists per game and is also scoring at a 9.4 points-per-game clip.

SERIES HISTORY
Ohio and Mount St. Mary's are set to meet on the hardwood for the first time ever on Friday.

The Bobcats are 20-7 (.741) against current NEC members. Last season marked the first time Ohio has faced an NEC program under Phillips as the Bobcats recorded a 79-53 win over Bryant on Dec. 3, 2016, at the Convo.

UP NEXT
Ohio plays host to a 2017 NCAA Championship field qualifier for the second game in a row when Iona visits the Convo next Tuesday (Nov. 28) for a 7 p.m. ET contest to close out the first month of the 2017-18 schedule.

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