Ugly wins are a common thing in the early goings of the college basketball season. Ohio did its job by pulling out a close and hard-fought win against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Tuesday night. In a game in which neither team could distance themselves from their counterpart, the largest lead that either team had was the 69-60 score that Ohio held at the final buzzer.
Most Ohio University students had headed home for Thanksgiving break, the Convocation Center wasn't particularly full and the Clermont Northeastern High School band played in place of the Marching 110. It wasn't the typical home game, and had plenty components that might typically result in a let down game.
Maurice Ndour and Javarez "Bean" Willis simply did not let that happen, and led the way for the 'Cats, with Ndour scoring 21 and grabbing 12 boards while Willis banged home four three-pointers, four assists, and scored 16 points in the win.
UAPB forced the issue early with an at-times suffocating 2-3 zone and a 2-2-1 press that hurried the Ohio offensive up to an uncomfortable pace. In fact, the Golden Lions forced 13 turnovers in the first-half alone (and 20 on the night).
"If this game was a drive to Columbus, we would have been clocked going about 100 miles per hour around Lancaster," said Coach Saul Phillips. Guards Stevie Taylor and Willis combined for 12 turnovers (mostly in the first).
"I think we need to slow down, I think we're moving too fast and making decisions real fast. I think it'll make it easier if we slow down and let people actually come to the ball," said Willis.
"I have senior moments, but its a different kind," Phillips added.
Ohio moved to 3-1 with the victory and gets to go stuff themselves with food assuredly.