Updated Sat, Mar 8, 2014 5:55 pm
Ohio closed out the 2013-14 regular season in typical Bobcat fashion by overcoming a second half deficit to beat Miami 82-76 in overtime.
It’s no secret that when Maurice Ndour plays well, Ohio plays well. Saturday was no different, as the junior forward, who sat out Wednesday’s game due to a back injury, grabbed eight rebounds and scored a team-high 15 points.
No points were more important than the two that he got when he drove baseline and finished a double pump layup to tie the game at 68-68 with 0:03 left. After Ndour’s game-tying layup, things got a little whacky.
Nick Kellogg deflected Miami’s inbound pass, recovered the ball and hit what was seemingly a game-winning fade away 3-pointer as time expired. The referees ruled that Kellogg had stepped out of bounds before he shot the ball, however, giving Miami the ball with 0.7 seconds remaining. Miami heaved up a half-court shot in desperation, but it fell short and the game went into overtime.
After a Quinten Rollins foul line jump shot gave Miami a 70-68 lead, Kellogg, who had already passed D.J. Cooper for most 3-pointers made in Ohio history, drained 3-pointer from the wing, tying Landin Hackim for most 3-pointers in MAC history.
Ohio was hot from 3-point range against the RedHawks, going 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Javarez “Bean” Willis, who also had 15 points in the game, drained four 3-pointers in the game. His final trifecta came in overtime when he nailed a shot from several feet behind the 3-point line with the shot clock winding down to give Ohio a 74-70 lead.
The Bobcats salted the game away thanks to a Treg Setty put back and free throws from Ndour, Wilkins, and Setty. The win cemented Ohio as the fifth seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and set up a matchup with Ball State in the Convo on Monday.
Ohio headed into halftime leading 37-33 thanks to its ball movement. The Bobcats kept the ball moving in the first moving, resulting in open looks for Ohio’s shooters. Head coach Jim Christian’s squad totaled 12 assists in the first half and 20 total for the game.
Miami utilized a 14-2 run early in the second half to take a 49-43 lead over Ohio. Antonio Campbell, who posted a career-high for the second straight game with 13, finished a layup to cut the lead to four. Like most of the second half, Miami responded with a basket. Nearly every time Ohio could tie the game or take the lead in the second half, it squandered the opportunity by missing shots or turning the ball over.
Turnovers were an issue for Ohio all game, as the Bobcats coughed it up 19 times. The Bobcats tried to play too fast at times, which resulted in forced and careless passes.
With 1:02 left in regulation, Ndour collected a Willis miss to cut Miami’s lead to 68-66. The Bobcats pressured Miami on the ensuing possession, allowing Nick Kellogg to rip the ball away from Willie Moore.
Kellogg raced down court and tried to lob the ball ahead to Treg Setty, who was running the break with him. However, Kellogg forced the pass to Setty and Miami came away with the steal, forcing Ohio to foul and send the RedHawks to the line.
Geovonie McKnight went to the free throw stripe for Miami hoping to salt the game away. McKnight missed the front end of a one-and-one, allowing Ohio a chance to tie or take the lead. With 0:11 left, Travis Wilkins fired a 3-pointer from the corner that went half way down and then spun out. Ohio fouled Quinten Rollins, who then missed the front end of his one-and-one opportunity, setting Ndour’s game-tying basket.
The Bobcats return to the Convo for their opening round contest of the MAC Tournament on Monday night.