It was a forgettable first half in Athens in the game between UNC-Wilmington and Ohio, but Ohio fans are looking at the second half-performance of tonight's 72-53 win over the Seahawks as a landmark for where they want this team to be consistently.
After trailing for most of the first half, Ohio came out in the second half on fire, and scored seven quick points on buckets by Maurice Ndour, Ryan Taylor and Antonio Campbell. Campbell's 3-pointer lifted Ohio to its first lead of the game at a score of 37-34. The two teams traded punches before another Campbell trey and an Ndour jumper swung the momentum into Ohio's favor for good. The Ndour jumper started a 16-0 run that ran the course of 6:37, and effectively buried the Seahawks. During the crushing streak, Ohio put on display its defensive abilities that stifled its opponents offense, kickstarted transition buckets, and showcased Bean Willis and Ndour playing off one another to embarrass the 'Hawks.
After initially allowing the Seahawks, who came into the game 35th best in the nation in shooting, to shoot 48.3 percent in the first half, the 'Cats clamped down and held the 'Hawks to 17.1 percent the rest of the game, with just six made field goals.
On the night, Ndour poured in 23 points, a season-high for the big man. The Senegalese behemoth came up especially big in the 16-0 run, in which he also added a blocked shot and some rebounds. He added 10 rebounds to complete the double-double.
Willis played a complementary role, and added 12 points, five rebounds and five dimes. Mike Laster lived around the rim against the 'Hawks, and put up a new career-high with 11 points, and four made shots. Antonio Campbell (in his second straight game in which he hit two second half 3-pointers, the last being Nebraska at the Diamond Head classic) scored 11 points with five boards.
Treg Setty, who typically does not fill up the stat sheet with points, contributed in his typical way, by working the glass HARD. It paid off as he grabbed 12 rebounds.
The victory concluded the non-conference schedule for Ohio, who finished at 5-6. The fans in Athens are anxiously awaiting MAC for the chance to show the rest of the conference that the losing record is not indicative of how they expect the team to perform against other Mid-American foes.