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Ohio Men’s Basketball Set for Matchup at Akron on Saturday

Ohio Men’s Basketball Set for Matchup at Akron on Saturday

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2018-19 • GAME 28
Saturday, March 2, 2019
2 p.m. ET | Ohio (12-15, 4-11 MAC) vs.Akron (15-13, 7-8 MAC) | James A. Rhodes Arena | Akron, Ohio | Live Stats | ESPN+Listen | Ohio Notes | Akron Notes

ATHENS, Ohio --The Ohio men's basketball team (12-15, 4-11 MAC) returns to action on Saturday, March 2 for the final road game of the regular season when the Bobcats head to Akron, Ohio for a battle with the Zips (15-13, 7-8 MAC). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. inside James A. Rhodes Arena. 

Saturday's contest will be broadcast on the WatchESPN App where Michael Reghi and Jackie Windon will have the call. The game will also be on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College, the 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Radio pregame coverage is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET with 'Countdown To Tipoff.'

SCOUTING AKRON
Akron enters the game with Ohio with an overall record of 15-13 and a 7-8 conference mark. 

Overall, Akron averages 69.3 points per game, while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from three-point range and 70.9 percent from the free throw line. The Zips average 36.6 rebounds per game to go along with 12.2 assists, 5.7 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. The Zips also turn the ball over an average 11.6 times per game. 

Meanwhile, opponents are averaging 63.1 points per game and are shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from three-point range and 65.3 percent from the free throw line. They also average 38.7 rebounds. 10.4 assists, 5.3 steals and 2.7 blocks per game, while turning the ball over an average of 13.7 times. 

Individually, Daniel Utomi leads the Zips with 13.9 points per game and is shooting 38.8 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from three-point range and 71.9 percent from the free throw line. Loren Cristian Jackson adds 13.4 points per game and has dished out 89 assists for the Zips. Jimond Ivey is averaging 12.1 points per game and is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 77.9 percent from the free throw line, while averaging a team-high 6.5 boards. 

IN AKRON'S LAST GAME
Akron last played on Tuesday, Feb. 26, falling to #21 Buffalo 77-64 inside Alumni Arena.

In that game, Akron shot 39.7 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three-point range and 76.9 from the free throw line. They grabbed 37 rebounds, dished out 14 assists, registered four blocks and had three steals, while Buffalo shot 42.9 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three-point range and 68.2 percent from the free throw line. Buffalo also grabbed 40 rebounds, dished out 20 assists and had six blocks and six steals. 

Tyler Cheese led the Zips with 20 points, while Deng Riak added 11 points and eight rebounds. 

SERIES HISTORY
This is the 82nd all-time meeting between Ohio and Akron, with the Zips leading the all-time series, 42-39. 

The Bobcats fell to Akron earlier this season in Athens. 

LAST TIME AGAINST AKRON
Ohio and Akron last met on Feb. 2 inside the Convocation Center, with Ohio falling 65-53. 

In that game, Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) compiled a team-high 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in his double-double performance. Carter added a team-high two blocks and a steal in his 35 minutes of work. Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) registered nine points, five rebounds and a team-high three assists in his 31 minutes of play. 

Ohio finished the game with a 37.7 percent (20-of-53) field goal percentage and 32 total rebounds compared to Akron who finished the game with a 41.7 percent (25-of-60) field goal percentage and 41 total rebounds. Ohio registered 26 points in the paint and nine points off the bench compared to 28 points in the paint and nine points off the bench the Zips. Ohio forced 13 turnovers with two steals, but Akron forced 14 turnovers with six steals. Ohio however, compiled 12 assists and five blocks compared to Akron who compiled 11 assists and five blocks.

Jimond Ivey led the Zips in scoring with a game-high 21 points going 8-of-17 from the field. Ivey added a team-high nine rebounds assists and two steals in his 36 minutes of play. Daniel Utomi added 14 points and four rebounds in his 29 minutes of play. Loren Cristian Jackson followed closely behind with 12 points and a game-high five assists in his 33 minutes of work. Deng Riak added a team-high nine rebounds and a game-high three blocks in his 25 minutes of play for the Zips.

LAST TIME OUT FOR OHIO
The Bobcats are coming off of a 78-73 loss at Kent State on Feb. 26. 

Leading Ohio was redshirt sophomore forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio), who scored 20 points, going 7-of-9 from the field, 3-of-3 from three-point range and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and had one block. Senior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio), finished with 12 points. Going 5-of-7 from the field and had two blocks. Freshman guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 11 points, while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and dished out eight assists without a turnover. Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) finished with 11 points, while senior guard/forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) finished with nine points and four assists. 

Overall, Ohio shot 52.9 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from three-point range and 61.1 percent from the free throw line, while Kent State shot 43.8 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from three-point range and 50.0 percent from the free throw line. Ohio was out rebounded 39-33, but dished out 22 assists, had three steals and four blocks to Kent State's 17 assists, four steals and two blocks. 

For Kent State, Jaylin Walker scored a game-high 23 points, going 8-of-21 from the field, 4-of-9 from three-point range and grabbed six rebounds. Antonio Williams scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Akiean Frederick added 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. 

SCOUTING OHIO
The Bobcats enter the matchup with Kent State with an overall record of 12-15 and a 4-11 mark in MAC play. 

Ohio is averaging 70.2 points per game. They are shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 30.5 percent from three-point range and 61.3 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats are also averaging 37.3 rebounds a contest to go along with 14.6 assists, 6.5 steals and 3.7 blocks per game. 

Individually, Jason Carter is averaging 16.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three-point range and 69.6 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Teyvion Kirk is adding 14.5 points per game 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. 

Doug Taylor is leading the Bobcats with 1.9 blocks per game, while Jason Preston is shooting 45.3 percent from the field, while also adding 3.5 assists per game. 

CARTER'S MUCH NEEDED BOOST
Carter has led the Bobcats in scoring in 19 of Ohio's 27 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.  Carter added another double-double on Jan. 15 against Kent State, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 boards. 

So far this season, Carter is averaging 16.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 69.6 percent from the free throw line. He has also jumped his three-point shooting percentage, shooting 36.8 percent overall and 43.9 percent since MAC play began. 

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. 

Carter added another double-double on the season on Feb. 16 at CMU with 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

On Feb. 22 in Ohio's upset victory over BGSU, Carter scored 23 points and has eight rebounds in the OT win. 

BIG BEN ALERT
Vander Plas is averaging 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting .418 from the field and .311 from three-point range.

The redshirt freshman, who missed all of last season due to injury, scored 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. 

On Jan. 26 against Ball State, Vander Plas grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds. 

Vander Plas' career day came on Feb. 16 with he scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds, while also dishing out a career-high four assists against CMU. 

TK GOING FOR ROUND TWO
Currently, Kirk is second on the team with 14.5 points per game. He also added 5.7 rebounds, while shooting 41.7 percent from the field. He has also recorded 62 total assists and 38 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 141 blocks in his career, which moves him into fifth all-time in program history. 

Taylor needs six more to pass Jon Smith for fourth all-time.

GAVIN CHARGE
Throughout his career, senior forward/guard Gavin Block has drawn 87 charges.

PRESTON COMING INTO HIS OWN
Freshman guard Jason Preston has begun to prove himself down the stretch of the 2018-19 season. Preston has registered a team-high 90 assists on the season, while dishing out a career-high nine against WMU. 

Then on Feb. 22, Preston registered seven assists and did not commit a turnover in 43 minutes in the 92-87 OT victory over BGSU. 

Preston continued that trend the next game on Feb. 26 against Kent State, scoring 11 points and dishing out eight assists with no turnovers. 

OHIO IN THE MAC -TEAM
In the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats currently rank sixth in rebounding offense (37.3), ninth in rebounding defense (36.1), 10th in rebounding margin (+1.1), sixth in offensive rebounds (11.1), eighth in defensive rebounds (26.1) and fifth in defensive rebounding percentage (.731). 

Ohio is also seventh in steals (6.5), fourth in blocked shots (3.7) and third in assists (14.5). 

OHIO IN THE MAC -INDIVIDUAL 
Individually, Carter is currently seventh in the MAC in scoring (16.6), while Taylor is third in field goal percentage (.589) and Preston is 10th in assists (3.3).  

Kirk is ninth in steals (1.4), while Taylor is first in blocked shots (1.9) and eighth in offensive rebounds (2.7). Preston in second in assists/turnover ratio (2.8). 

90-POINT MARK
The Bobcats have reached the 90-point mark in 2018-19.  Ohio is 16-2 when scoring at least 90 points under Phillips.

In 2017-18 Ohio scored at least 90 points six times. 

UP NEXT
The Bobcats return to action for the first of two home games to wrap up the regular season on Tuesday, March 5 when the Bobcats host #21 Buffalo. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. 

#BleedGreen 

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