By Mike Ashcraft
Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (4-3) recorded its most lopsided victory in 16 years and held an opponent under 40 points for the first time since 1973, rolling to a commanding 80-37 victory over Coppin State (0-7) on Friday (Dec. 1) at the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats' 43-point margin of victory represented the program's biggest win since beating Long Island by 53, 110-57, on Dec. 27, 2001, at the FIU Holiday Classic in Miami, Fla. Ohio held a team under 40 points for the first time since an 87-31 win over Marietta on Jan. 9, 1973.
"We've got to take advantage of every live situation we get toward getting better," said fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips following the win.
Ohio held the Eagles to just 21.3 percent (13-of-61) from the field -- including 12 percent (3-of-25) from three-point range. The Bobcats dominated the box score in rebounds (56-37), assists (16-5), steals (11-2), points in the paint (34-10), points off turnovers (20-4), second chance points (16-6) and bench points (36-13).
Senior guard Mike Laster (Detroit, Mich.) went 8-of-12 from the field with a pair of threes to finish with a game-high 18 points. He also tallied two assists and a steal in 27 minutes of action. After missing the last two games with an injury, graduate forward Kevin Mickle (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came off the bench to score 15 points -- his most as a Bobcat -- after going 6-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-5 from the free throw line. He also chipped in five rebounds, a game-high three steals and two assists -- all his most as a Bobcat -- over 15 minutes.
"In the beginning, I was a little timid," said Mickle of his return to the court after dealing with a leg injury. "After dunking the ball in warmups and stuff, it boosted my confidence."
Redshirt sophomore guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.) went a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe en route to career-high 11 points in 16 minutes off of the bench. He also posted a career-high eight boards to go along with an assist and a steal. Freshman guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) recorded nine points, a career-high eight rebounds, two steals and an assist in 23 minutes. Junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) knocked down three treys to finish with nine points in 17 minutes. He also dished out three assists to match junior guard forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) for the team lead. Junior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) finished the double-digit rebounds for the fourth game in a row with a game-high 10. He also recorded five points, two assists and a steal over 19 minutes. Redshirt sophomore forward Ellis Dozier (Sandy Spring, Md.) tallied a career-high four points and four rebounds in 15 minutes off of the bench while senior forward Sam Frayer (Cincinnati, Ohio) sank his first career three-pointer.
"We take pride in it," said Frayer of he and his fellow walk-ons, senior guard Antonio Bisutti (Dublin, Ohio) and junior forward Jaylin McDonald (Cleveland, Ohio), helping to lock down the 43-point victory. "The last four minutes, we prided ourselves to win it, and we won it, 8-4."
Ohio recorded its first wire-to-wire win of the 2017-18 campaign, with Laster continuing his hot shooting by hitting a three 35 seconds into the contest to open the scoring. The Bobcats' lead swelled to double digits for good with just over 14 minutes left in the first half after Kirk made the first of two free throw attempts. Ohio shot 48.6 percent (17-of-35) from the field in the opening 20 minutes of play -- including 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from beyond the arc -- to take a 28-point lead into the break at 45-17. The Bobcats saw their lead swell to 30 points at 49-19 after Laster hit a jumper with just over 18 minutes remaining and never led by less than 35 over the final 15:41 of the game.
Junior forward Adam Traore finished eight points and a team-high nine rebounds in 22 minutes of action for Coppin State. Graduate guard Karonn Davis totaled eight points, a team-high two assists, a team-high two steals and two boards in 29 minutes. Junior forward Cedric Council Jr. blocked a game-high five shots and also added two points and four rebounds in 26 minutes.
Ohio makes the trip to College Park, Md., to battle Big Ten Conference foe Maryland next Thursday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.