Updated Thu, Jan 23, 2014 10:27 am
Poor execution against a tough defensive team in Bowling Green (9-9, 3-2) was a recipe for disaster for Ohio (13-5, 3-2) Wednesday night, as the Bobcats fell to the Falcons 58-56.
Bowling Green started the game playing man-to-man defense, which the Bobcats had no problem scoring against, and Ohio’s movement without the ball wreaked havoc on the Falcons’ defense. The Bobcats were constantly in motion, keeping Falcon defenders moving and opening up holes in the defense.
After Ohio built a 16-6 lead, Bowling Green switched it up on defense and went to a full court zone press and a 2-3 zone. The combination of the press and 2-3 zone forced Ohio, who had been controlling the tempo and playing quickly, to slow down and play in the half court. Ohio’s free flowing offense suddenly came to a screeching halt.
“We played awful against the zone the entire night,” head coach Jim Christian explained. “All the concepts that we teach and work on, we just didn’t do any of them.”
Against the zone, Ohio fell into a habit of settling for 3-pointers instead of attacking the basket. The shots did not fall time after time, leading Ohio to swing the ball from side to side, occasionally getting the ball into the high post, to fire up a 3-pointer. Ohio only went 6 for 22 from deep in the game.
“We got stagnant,” Bobcat guard Stevie Taylor said. “We didn’t get the ball in the middle.”
If the team had gotten the ball in the middle more often, it would have opened up the holes in the zone and allowed the Bobcats to attack them.
Taylor also explained that the team was not aggressive enough and did not cut to the basket enough against the Bowling Green zone.
The Falcons defense also forced Ohio turn the ball over, which Ohio did 18 times in the game. On a crucial possession for Ohio, Taylor threw the ball away, allowing for Jehvon Clarke to steal the pass and convert it for an easy layup on the other end, giving Bowling Green a 56-53 lead.
After a Jehvon Clarke 3-pointer that gave Bowling Green a five point lead, T.J. Hall drained a 3-pointer of his own to draw Ohio within two at 58-56.
Ohio was forced to foul Anthony Henderson with 0:13 left in the hopes that he’d miss, which he did.
Ohio raced down court and called a timeout to draw up a play. Out of the timeout, Ohio inbounded the ball to Travis Wilkins, who then dribbled towards Nick Kellogg and handed the ball off to him. Kellogg then dribbled to the top of the arc and fired a contested 3-pointer that did not go as time expired. Kellogg finished the game with 10 points.
Ohio did not play well on the defensive end of the floor Wednesday night either. The Bobcats allowed Bowling Green to repeatedly get inside, which gave the Falcons plenty of second chances, as they gave up 13 offensive rebounds.
Spencer Parker led Bowling Green with 16 points and six rebounds, but Richaun Holmes was the major difference maker for the Falcons. The forward finished with 12 points and five rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds.
“They got every big rebound,” Christian said. “You’ve just got to have the effort and heart to (rebound) and we didn’t do it.”
Ohio will look to regroup Saturday when it takes on Eastern Michigan (11-7, 3-2) in Ypsilanti, Mich.