Ohio did not lack for aggression on Tuesday against Marshall, but it wasn't always guided in the right direction. It was erratic aggression to start, to the tune of 12 first half turnovers, but hustle and determination to finish.
Ohio (4-2) looked recharged and reloaded in the second half, taking control and eventually coming away with the 85-70 win against Marshall (0-4).
After a sluggish start, Ohio quickly assumed the role of aggressor after Marshall had held the title during the game's early proceedings. Ohio's ball movement improved, its pace quickened, and it held advantages in the hustle categories. Most notably, the Bobcats finished with 11 offensive rebounds and a 45-33 overall advantage on the glass.
Ohio outplayed Marshall to close out the game, but most importantly, the ‘Cats stopped beating themselves. Ohio committed only seven second half turnovers while forcing seven Marshall give-aways.
Ohio had not played in over a week since returning from the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and, according to forward Antonio Campbell, there was some rust.
"We still had those island legs," Campbell said.
Jaaron Simmons captained the surge, finishing with 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds, but he had plenty of help from his friends. Treg Setty and Kenny Kaminski kicked in double-digit point totals, 10 and 15 points, respectively, while Tony Campbell made a living in the paint, accumulating seven points and 15 boards.
Next to Simmons's positive numbers lies his turnover total of seven. Ohio head coach Saul Phillips got on Simmons for his mistakes, but acknowledged his role did not change because of the turnovers.
"I'm going to keep going to him. I'm stubborn like that," Phillips said. "He's capable of playing through that stuff...he can take it."
Phillips expressed frustration over the multiple turnovers, but remained positive about what could be should the Bobcats clean up the mistakes.
"We could be a historically good offensive team if we start to take care of the ball," Phillips added. "I can't let us feel wonderful about turning the ball over 19 times."
As for the visitors, C.J. Burks and James Kelly knocked in a combined 38 points, but the Thundering Herd struggled from the field more and more as the game progressed. Marshall finished on 29-of-69 (42 percent) shooting from the field and a woeful 5-of-22 (23 percent) from beyond the arc.
The players' bodies may feel slightly woeful tomorrow, as well. The two teams combined for 38 personal fouls, many of which were very physical in nature. Ohio shot a pedestrian 19-31 (61 percent) from the charity stripe.
Ohio will be back in action on Saturday, December 5th at St. Bonaventure.
|Points||J. Simmons (25)||C.J. Burks (20)|
|Rebounds||A. Campbell (15)||Two tied (8)|
|Assists||J. Simmons (8)||S. Browning (6)|
|Blocks||W. Mompremier (3)||R. Taylor (1)|
|Steals||Two tied (2)||J. Edmonds (3)|