DETROIT -- A timely three-point basket from sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) pushed the Ohio men's basketball team (7-3) past Detroit Mercy (3-8), 63-61, on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 15) inside Calihan Hall in Detroit.
Redshirt sophomore forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) posted a game-high 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting and an 8-of-9 performance from the free throw line. Carter added two rebounds and two blocks to his day. Kirk had 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting with five free throws made. He took and made one three-point attempt, the game winner. Kirk hauled in seven boards, assisted on three baskets and earned two steals in the win. Senior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) was one point shy of a double-double after nine points and 13 boards in 29 minutes of play. Freshman guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) contributed with six points, six assists and four rebounds. His six helpers were a career best. Junior guard Antonio Cowart, Jr. (McComb, Miss.) chipped in with three points and five rebounds.
Off the bench, Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) hit two three pointers for six total points, blocked two shots and pulled in two rebounds during his 18 minutes on the floor. Connor Murrell (Sioux City, Iowa) tied his career high with three points in five minutes of play.
The Bobcats shot 43.1 percent (22-of-51) from the field and was 5-of-14 from deep. Ohio got to the line 25 times and converted on 14 of those attempts. Ohio outrebounded the Titans 42-29 had 14 assists compared to Detroit's seven. Ohio scored 19 points off turnovers and had seven second chance points.
Ohio grabbed its first field goal of the day at the 15:59 mark with a Taylor layup. Detroit Mercy jumped out to a 11-5 lead at the 15:45 mark but Ohio was able to tie the game at 12-12 when Vander Plas hit a three with 13:32 remaining in the half. Detroit Mercy put together a 5-0 run that lasted four minutes three minutes but a strong Taylor layup and Cowart Jr. three brought the Bobcats back within one. Ohio was finally able to take the lead when Preston hit a mid-range jumper to go up 21-20 with 7:58 left. Both teams would trade buckets until the Detroit tied the game at 28-28 with 4:18 left in the half. Ohio closed the first half on an 8-2 run with Preston hitting a jumper as time expired in the half.
Ohio shot 46.4 percent (13-of-24) from the field in the first half while holding the Titans to 11-of-25 (44.0 percent). Ohio was 37.6 percent (3-of-8) and 7-9 from the line.
Kirk's 10th point of the night – a free throw – started the scoring off in the second half and put the Bobcats up 37-30. Ohio will allow Detroit Mercy to score just three points in the first 8:39 of the half. A Preston jumper gave Ohio a 42-33 advantage and an and one dunk from Carter sent Ohio to the second media timeout up 47-33. Vander Plas sunk a three to give Ohio a 52-33 advantage before the Titans would end the Ohio run. The Titans wen on a run of their own and was able to cut the Bobcats advantage to 58-54 at the final media timeout of the game at 3:56. A pair of Carter free throws put the Bobcats up 60-57, but Detroit Mercy was able to take a 61-60 advantage with Tra'Quan Knight free throws and a Antoine Davis jumper. With 46 seconds left in the game, Kirk banked in a three to give Ohio a 63-61 lead. Detroit would get a good look in the final seconds but was unable to connect and Ohio took home the 63-61 win.
Ohio shot 39.1 percent (9-of-23) while going 2-of-6 from deep in the second half. Detroit Mercy went 8-of-29 in the second half while going to the line 22 times and making 13 of them.
The Bobcats will be back in action on Thursday, December 20 at Purdue. First tip is set for 7 p.m. and can be watched live on Big Ten Network.