ATHENS, Ohio -- Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) led the way with 20 points and a game-high four steals, followed closely behind by redshirt sophomore forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) with 18 points and two steals, as the Ohio men's basketball team defeated Rio Grande, 93-58, in a Dad's Weekend exhibition game on Saturday (Nov. 3) at the Convocation Center.
"Overall I thought it was pretty good particularly from the offensive perspective," fifth-year head coach Saul Phillips said. "We shot a good percentage. Moved the ball pretty well for a big chunk of the game. It's a start, and 10 turnovers in the first exhibition is a good place to start from."
Ohio led the game 15-11 through the first five minutes of play on an 88.9 field goal percentage compared to Rio Grande's 50.0 field goal percentage. The Bobcats capitalized with a 14-2 run as the 10-minute mark in the first half approached, increasing the lead to 29-13.
Ohio dominated the first half, more than doubling Rio Grande's score, 52-24. Ohio went 21-of-32 from the field, compiled 18 rebounds and five assists compared to Rio Grande's 10-of-30 from the field, 15 rebounds and four assists. Ohio was able to attempt 12 free throws capitalizing on eight, while Rio Grande only attempted four free throws capitalizing on two.
The second half was a similar story as Ohio went 16-of-30 from the field compared to 12-of-24 for Rio Grande, as well as compiling 17 rebounds to Rio Grande's 14. Ohio scored 62 of its 93 points in the paint compared to 28 points scored in the paint for Rio Grande. Ohio also registered a 59.7 field goal percentage on the game to 40.7 percent for Rio Grande.
Kirk and Carter were two of five Ohio players in double figures. Junior guard Antonio Cowart, Jr. (McComb, Miss.) went 4-of-6 from the field to finish with 10 points. He also had three rebounds and an assist in his 23 minutes. Senior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) went 5-of-7 from the field to finish with 10 points while also compiling a game-high seven rebounds and a game-high two blocks over 23 minutes. Redshirt freshman forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) added 14 points and four rebounds over 19 minutes.
"It was definitely a great feeling getting back out there with our guys and playing in The Convo with our great fans," Kirk said. "It was a great feeling to get out there and play a different team, see a different look and compete. As long as we continue to play our game of basketball and continue team chemistry moving in the right direction, we will be very confident going into March."
Leading the way for Rio Grande was junior forward Cameron Schreiter, totaling 18 points after going 7-of-10 from the field - including 2-of-3 from three-point range in his 28 minutes on the court. He also had two steals, four rebounds and an assist. Senior center Earl Russell also finished in double figures with 14 points while going 5-for-9 in the field while compiling six rebounds and an assist. Freshman guard Gunner Short and freshman guard Joshua Anthony both compiled three assists for the RedStorm. Short played a total of 23 minutes while Anthony played 28 minutes off the bench,
Ohio opens the 2018-19 regular season on Wednesday (Nov. 7) against Wilberforce. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at the Convo and can be seen on ESPN3.