Ohio Men’s Basketball Looks to Get Back on Track at Ball State on Saturday 

Ohio Men’s Basketball Looks to Get Back on Track at Ball State on Saturday 

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2018-19 • GAME 15
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019
12 p.m. | Ohio (8-6, 0-2 MAC) vs. Ball State (10-5, 1-1 MAC) | Worthen Arena | Muncie, Ind. | Live Stats | Watch ESPNListen | Ohio Notes | Ball State Notes
 

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (8-6, 0-2 MAC) returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 12 when they head to Munice, Ind. for a match up with Mid-American Conference West foe Ball State (10-5, 1-1 MAC). Tip-off is set for Noon inside Worthen Arena. 

Saturday's contest will be broadcast on the Watch ESPN App with Joel Godett and Brian Thornton on the call. The game will also be on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with 'The voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Radio pregame coverage is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET with 'Countdown To Tipoff.'

SCOUTING BALL STATE
Ball State enters the matchup with Ohio with an overall record of 10-5 and a 1-1 mark in MAC play and are coming off of an 84-82 double overtime loss at home against Eastern Michigan. 

The Cardinals average 83.9 points per game and are shooting 50.6 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range and 71.3 percent from the free throw line. Ball State averages 38.5 rebounds per game to go along with 15.6 assists, 6.1 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. Ball State also forces opponents to turn the ball over an average of 12.6 times per game. 

Meanwhile, Ball State opponents are averaging 73.0 points per game, 33.8 rebounds, 12.7 assists, 5.6 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents also force the Cardinals to turn the ball over 13.1 times per game. Opponents are also shooting 41.4 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three-point range and 73.0 percent from the free throw line. 

Tayler Persons is averaging 16.2 points per game and is shooting 46.0 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range and 83.8 percent from the free throw line. He has also dished out a team-leading 79 assists. Tahjai Teague is averaging 15.8 points per game and is shooting 64.6 percent from the field and averaging 7.9 rebounds. K.J. Walton adds 14.3 points per game and is shooting 56.1 percent from the field, while Trey Moses leads the team with 26 blocks. 

IN BALL STATE'S LAST GAME
Ball State is coming off of an 84-82 double overtime loss against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 8 in Muncie. 

Ball State shot 44.4 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three-point range and 50.0 percent from the free throw line. Ball State also grabbed 38 rebounds, dished out 23 assists, had 10 steals, four blocks and turned the ball over 15 times. Meanwhile, EMU shot 50 percent from the field, 61.5 percent from three-point range and 75.0 percent from the free throw line. The Eagles grabbed 39 boards, dished out 13 assists, had 10 steals, seven blocks and turned the ball over 19 times. 

Tahjai Teague led all-scorers with 28 points, going 11-of-18 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Trey Moss finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Kyle Mallers finished with 11 points, going 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. 

SERIES HISTORY
This is the 83rd all-time meeting between the two programs, with the Bobcats' leading the all-time series, 47-35. 

The Bobcats and Cardinals last met on Jan. 9, 2018, where Ball State took the game, 75-68. 

LAST TIME AGAINST BALL STATE
The Bobcats and Cardinals last met on Jan. 9, 2018, where Ball State took the game, 75-68. 

Ohio was held to 37.7 percent (23-of-61) despite making 44.4 percent (8-of-18) of its looks from behind the arc. Ball State converted at a 50 percent (28-of-56) rate from the field -- which tied for the best shooting performance by a Bobcat opponent this season. Ohio went 82.4 percent (14-of-17) from the free throw line, but the three misses came late in the second half when the Bobcats needed points.

Teyvion Kirk led all scorers with 17 points. Kirk also compiled four rebounds, three assists to tie for the team lead, two steals and a block in 31 minutes. Mike Laster recorded 13 points. He also notched three rebounds and three assists over 38 minutes. Jordan Dartis went 5-of-8 from the field -- including 3-of-4 from three-point range -- to finish with 13 points. He also chipped in two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 31 minutes. Kevin Mickle provided 10 points off of the bench in addition to hauling in six rebounds and tallying two steals in 23 minutes of work. Doug Taylor recorded eight points, seven rebounds. 

Trey Moses achieved a double-double to lead the way for Ball State, scoring 16 points off of 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. He also distributed a game-high four assists and had a steal in 30 minutes of action. Tayler Persons went 7-of-11 from the field en route to 16 points. He also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 29 minutes. Kyle Mallers shot 5-of-8 from the field -- including 3-of-6 from distance -- en route to 14 points. He also chipped in three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 29 minutes before fouling out.

LAST TIME OUT FOR OHIO
The Bobcats are coming off of an 82-63 defeat at Bowling Green on Jan. 8 inside the Stroh Center. 

Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) finished the game with 22 points, going 8-of-17 from the field and hitting a career-high five three-pointers, while also grabbing six rebounds. Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) finished the game with 17 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 1-of-2 from three-point range. Redshirt junior guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.) finished the game with six points, as did freshman guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) Junior guard Antonio Cowart, Jr. (McComb, Miss) finished the game with seven rebounds and a team-high five assists and two steals.

Overall, Ohio shot 44.1 percent from the field, 34.8 from three-point range and 75.0 percent from the free throw line, while Bowling Green shot 53.4 percent from the field, 47.8 percent from three-point range, including 66.7 percent in the second half, and 81.8 percent from the free throw line. Bowling Green recorded 35 rebounds to the Bobcats' 26, while Ohio dished out 11 assists, had seven steals and three blocks, while BGSU had 16 assists, 10 steals and one block. 

For Bowling Green, Justin Turner finished the game with 20 points, going 7-of-13 from the field. Michael Laster finished the game with 15 points and four assists, while Dylan Frye finished with 13 points and four assists. Antwon Lillard also finished with 13 points, while Jeffrey Uju also scored in double figures, wrapping up the game with 10 points.

SCOUTING OHIO
The Bobcats enter the matchup with Ball State with an overall record of 8-6 and an 0-2 mark in MAC play. 

14 games into the season, Ohio is averaging 72.9 points per game. They are shooting 44.8 percent from the field, 29.4 percent from three-point range and 65.2 from the free throw line. The Bobcats are also averaging 39.5 rebounds a contest to go along with 14.5 assists, 7.1 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. 

Individually, Jason Carter is averaging 17.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 72.6 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Teyvion Kirk is adding 16.4 points per game 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. 

Vander Plas is averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 43.1 from the field and 34.2 percent from beyond the arc. 

Doug Taylor is leading the Bobcats with 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, while Jason Preston is shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 64.3 percent from the free throw line. while also adding 1.7 assists per game. 

CARTER'S RETURN FELT
A few games into MACplay, it is evident that return of Jason Carter has been felt. The redshirt sophomore, who missed all but three games in 2017-18, has been a force for the Bobcats. 

Carter has led the Bobcats in scoring in 11 of Ohio's 14 games, recording a double-double against Wilberforce, and scoring 24 points against Campbell. 

Carter also added a double-double against Austin Peay on Nov. 24, while trying a career-high with 25 points in that matchups and did the same thing on Dec. 1 against Marshall. 

So far this season, Carter is averaging 17.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 72.6 percent from the free throw line. 

Carter was also named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 3. 

Carter's presence inside has also been huge, most notably on Dec. 30 when Carter grabbed an offensive board with just under 10 seconds to go and connected on the go-ahead basket in Ohio's 68-66 victory over FIU. 

On Jan. 8 at Bowling Green, Carter hit a new career-high with five made three-point baskets.  

BIG BEN ALERT
Ben Vander Plas' addition to the lineup as also been notability. The redshirt freshman, who missed all of last season due to injury, has been the Bobcats' biggest source off the bench, scoring 16 against Wilberforce, 15 against Campbell and 10 points against LMU. 

Right now, Vander Plas' biggest impact came on Nov. 27 against Iona, where he scored a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds to register his first career double-double. 

Vander Plas would go on to tie his career-high of 18 points on Dec. 1 against Marshall. 

On Dec. 20 at Purdue, Vander Plas led the Bobcats with 15 points and tying a career-high with four made three-pointers. 

Vander Plas is averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting .431 from the field and .342 from three-point range.

TK GOING FOR ROUND TWO
Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk has picked up where he left off last season. 

Currently, Kirk is second on the team with 16.4 points per game. He also added 6.2 rebounds, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field. He has also recorded 38 total assists and 22 steals for the Bobcats.  

On Dec. 15 at Detroit Mercy, Kirk drained the game-winning three-pointer with under a minute to go to lead Ohio to a 63-61 victory. 

BLOCK PARTY
Doug Taylor, who currently registers 120 blocks in his career, which moves him into eighth all-time for career blocks, surpassing Antonio Campbell. 

Taylor needs two more blocks to pass John Rhodes for seventh all-time, and four more to pass Maurice Ndour for sixth all-time

OHIO IN THE MAC -TEAM
In the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats currently rank fifth in rebounding offense (39.5), fourth in rebounding defense (33.2), second in rebounding margin (+6.3), sixth in offensive rebounds (11.7), fourth in defensive rebounds (27.8) and second in defensive rebounding percentage (.770). 

Ohio is also fourth in steals (7.1), fifth in blocked shots (4.1) and fifth in assists (14.3). 

OHIO IN THE MAC -INDIVIDUAL 
Individually, Carter is currently fourth in the MAC in scoring (17.6), while Kirk is fifth in the conference in scoring (16.4).  Taylor is fourth in rebounding (8.4) and ninth in field goal percentage (.550).

Kirk is sixth in steals (1.6), while Taylor is first in blocked shots (2.1) and second in offensive rebounds (3.4). Kirk is seventh in minutes played (32.1).

THE RETURN OF JIMMY G
Redshirt junior James Gollon made his return to the floor on Jan. 5 against NIU. Gollon has missed the first 12 games due to injury.  

On Jan. 8 at Bowling Green, Gollon scored his first points of the season, scoring six points, going 2-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. 

REBOUNDING MACHINES
One of the Bobcats' strengths during non conference play has been their rebounding. Currently the Bobcats average 39.5 rebounds per game and have a +6.3 rebounding margin. 

Ohio has won the rebounding battle in eight out of 14 games this season, with a season-high 56 against Wilberforce in the season opener. 

Nationally, the Bobcats rank 36th in rebounding margin, 54th in defensive and 80th in offensive boards. Meanwhile, in the MAC, Ohio is fifth in rebounding offense (39.5), fourth in rebounding defense (33.2), second in rebounding margin (+6.3), sixth in offensive rebounds (11.7), fourth in defensive rebounds (27.8) and second in defensive rebounding percentage (.770).

#CONVO50
Ohio announced on Dec. 3, 2018 - the 50th anniversary of the first game inside the Convocation Center - the plans for a 50th anniversary celebration for the Convo. 

Ohio Athletics will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Convocation Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 with a Sibs Weekend basketball doubleheader as the women's team battles Ball State at 1 p.m. ET and the men's team takes on Akron at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the doubleheader are $5 and include admission to both games. 

The gameday atmosphere surrounding the doubleheader will have a throwback feel to it. Celebration elements are set to include:
• Men's team wearing 1968 throwback uniforms
• Women's team wearing 1980s throwback uniforms
• Cheer and dance teams and Rufus the Bobcat in retro gear
• Retro Ohio "Attack Cat" logo displayed on the court
• Retro music playlist
• Commemorative 50th anniversary posters for the first 2,000 fans in attendance
• Men's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd
• Women's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd
•Internationally known entertainer, Red Panda, to perform at halftime of the men's basketball game

UP NEXT
The Bobcats return to Athens on Tuesday, Jan. 15 when Ohio hosts Kent State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. 

#BleedGreen