Ohio made the visiting Miami RedHawks aware early that this would be the Bobcats' night offensively. The string of sevem straight losses meant nothing to Ohio on this frigid Friday night. An Ndour dunk and 3-pointer marked the first five points of the game for Ohio, and it was he, Javarez Willis, and guard Stevie Taylor who accounted for the first 15 points of the night for Ohio. Each of these fellas is a senior, and went out on top at home by a score of 95-65.
Ohio honored its three seniors before the game, an even played the Senegalese national anthem for Ndour before the American national anthem.
Now often, you can't always judge a basketball game by the score alone. Well...on this night we're going to let the score, and the stats, do the talking.
Ohio jumped out to a lead as large as 24 in the first half, and led its hated rivals 53-30 at the half. Willis (19) and Ndour (16) contributed 35 of those points on a night when the two played some of their best ball of the season, and one of the lone nights in this subpar season for Ohio in which the two of them truly were on their respective games.
It was the type of night that Ohio fans have been waiting for since the Diamond Head Classic in which the Bobcats dominated the DePaul Blue Demons. Ohio chucked up 31 3-point tries and made 17 of them. Of those 17, Ndour made five (of seven) and Willis made 10 (of 15). Ndour finished with 27 points and Willis finished with a season, and career-high 34 on 12-20 shooting. He added six more assists and rebounds. Suppose Bean wanted to make the most of his final game in the Convocation Center.
Defensively, Ndour was having NONE OF THAT, and swatted six shots and added 11 boards.
Miami was outgunned from the start, and most notably struggled to get to the free throw line. Coach John Cooper's squad has made its living at the free throw line as of late, getting to the charity stripe upwards of 30 times in multiple games over the last couple weeks. Tonight, the RedHawks attempted just seven freebies.
Senior Will Sullivan put up a valiant effort in his last game in Athens, scoring 19 points an hitting five 3-pointers. Eric Washington was a little bit less aggressive than usual, scoring just 10 points, but assisting on eight made baskets. Geovanie McKnight struggle mightily with 4 points on 2-11 shooting.
The 'Hawks 36.7 percent shooting from the field was putrid compared to Ohio's 57.1 percent (both shot 50 percent or better from deep).
The win didn't mean anything for Ohio seed wise. After an WMU win over CMU, the 'Cats still face Western on the road in its first MAC tourney game as the 11-seed on Monday.
The 9-seed RedHawks and the folks from Oxford will have to look forward to a showdown with 8-seed Eastern Michigan on Monday as well.
|Points||Javarez Willis (34)||Will Sullivan (19)|
|Rebounds||Maurice Ndour (11)||Jaryd Eustace (6)|
|Assists||Javarez Willis (6)||Eric Washington (8)|
|Blocks||Maurice Ndour (6)||None|
|Steals||Stevie Taylor (2)||Eric Washington (2)|