Updated Thu, Jan 23, 2014 10:09 am
Ohio (13-4, 3-1), winner of three of its last four games, will look to continue its strong play Wednesday when the Bowling Green Falcons (8-9, 2-2) come to the Convo.
After Ohio’s first four Mid-American Conference games, it is clear what the formula for the Bobcats is: play tough defense to keep the game close and then make adjustments at halftime and pull away from their opponent. So far, this formula has worked well for Ohio, as the team has won three of its first four conference games.
The Bobcats’ last game, a 65-46 win over Northern Illinois, followed that formula perfectly. The team struggled offensively in the first half, only scoring 23 points and turning the ball over nine times. The turnovers prevented Ohio from controlling the tempo of the game, forcing it to play at a slower pace and with no offensive rhythm.
Defensively, however, the team was sound, holding the Huskies to 8-of-24 shooting from the field. Despite the strong defensive play, Ohio found itself trailing 24-23 at halftime in large part because of its inability to collect defensive rebounds, as Northern Illinois corralled nine offensive rebounds in the half.
Like the previous game against Ball State, the Bobcats made halftime adjustments and played a much more free flowing offensive game in the second half. They continued to defend, but they controlled the boards, which allowed them to get out and run on the break and attack the defense.
The Bobcats took care of the ball much better after halftime, which is partially due to the fact that they were attacking the defense and controlling the tempo.
The good news about this formula is that it has Ohio playing its best basketball when it matters most – near the end of games. It also shows that this team is not easily broken. The bad news, though, is that it is a risky formula to use. If the Bobcats don’t make the proper halftime adjustments, they could find themselves in an absolute dogfight with a team that they are better than.
This is what Ohio is hoping to avoid Wednesday when it plays host to Bowling Green. The Falcons are somewhat similar to Northern Illinois in that they prefer a low scoring game. They only average about 64 points per game. In all but one of the team’s losses, Bowling Green has failed to score 65 points.
The Falcons enter their matchup with Ohio after a come-from-behind 69-64 victory against Western Michigan. Bowling Green, who only shoots about 30 percent from 3-point range, was uncharacteristically hot in the game, going 10-of-18 from deep. Anthony Henderson led the Falcons in the upset win with 27 points.
Bowling Green had three other players in double figures in the game, including the team’s leading scorer this season, forward Richaun Holmes. Holmes averages 14.3 points a game and does it rather efficiently, shooting 54 percent from the field this season. Holmes is also the team’s leading rebounder with 7.5 a game.
The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. in the Convo Wednesday.