March 5, 2018
By Pete Nakos
OXFORD – Ohio wasn't able to close out its 2017-18 season on a high note.
Despite overcoming injuries all season and winning four of their last five games, the Bobcats fell on Monday night, 68-55, to Miami in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Millett Hall.
Here's how it went down:
THE SKINNY: Despite scoring the first five points of the game, Ohio could never regain the lead after a 19-2 RedHawk run. Senior Mike Laster led the Bobcats with 16 points, he hit a 3-pointer with 11:15 to go to cut Miami's lead to six points. It was the closest the Bobcats could get. The RedHawks responded with a quick run to stretch their lead back to 12 points.
TURNING POINT: With 2:03 remaining in the game, Ohio trailed 58-50 and any chance of a final run had to come at that time. Miami shooting guard Isaiah Coleman-Lands buried a 3-pointer, stretching the lead to 11 and putting the game out of reach.
IMPACT PLAYER: Taylor. The junior forward finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. For a player who has struggled at times during the season, he came on at the end. Whenever the Bobcats have been successful this season its involved multiple pass possessions, usually a dish down low to Taylor. When he has a good game, Ohio has a chance.
STARTLING STAT: 4 — Ohio 3-pointers. The Bobcats shot 17.4 percent from beyond the arc in the loss. Junior Jordan Dartis only played 11 minutes and left the game early due to injury. If Ohio was going to make a run to get back into the game, it was going to need Dartis and some 3-pointers to fall.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Bobcats end the 2017-18 season with the loss, finishing the season 14-17. Ohio will lose four seniors — Laster, Kevin Mickle, Sam Frayer and Antonio Bisutti. The Bobcats were faced with injuries throughout the entire season, including two season-ending. All they can do now is rest and reload for the 2018-19 campaign.
"I would compare this season to playing cards and just being dealt a bad hand," Laster said. "And really just doing what you can and almost winning, actually. And actually not doing as bad as you thought you would once we got our hand. We just played our cards."
Pete Nakos is the Writer for Ohio Athletics. Have any questions? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Pete_Nakos96.