The Ohio Bobcats defeated the Jackson State Tigers 72-67 behind Jaaron Simmons' big game. Simmons flirted with a triple double most of the night, chipping in 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists. It was a coming out party for him and he scored on assisted on 34 of Ohio's 72 total points. Simmons paced the Bobcats in the first half with 11 points in the first half while he played the role of a distributor in the second half.
The Bobcats improved to 7-3 on the season, showcasing an impressive non-conference record for MAC play. The conference has combined to go 75-41 through 116 games so far. It was tough luck once again for Jackson State as they lost another close battle despite leading at halftime 33-30. The Tigers were led by role player Paris Collins with 15 points, but he was battling foul trouble throughout, finishing with four fouls. As a team the Tigers committed almost double the fouls the Bobcats committed, and Yettra Specks even fouled out with 28 seconds left to go. In the last 5:40 of the game the Bobcats went 13 for 15 from the free throw line. This in turn shows that going forward they'll have to continue strong play from the line to complete in a very contested Mid-American Conference.
It's still difficult to figure out the MAC at this point. The presumed favorite is Akron to go far throughout conference play, but teams like NIU, Ohio and Kent State all have started off strong. It will be interesting once MAC play starts in January to see if it's going to be closely contested or if we will see certain teams pull away. After two more non-conference games Ohio goes on the road to DeKalb to face Northern Illinois to open conference play. The game is Jan. 6 at 7 p.m., while the home part of the series for the Bobcats is in February. By then we'll have seen the Bobcats play eight conference games with a mixture on the road and at home. It should provide us with a better understanding of where they stand in the MAC.