Updated Mon, Mar 24, 2014 3:01 pm
Update: According to Ohio's athletic website, the Bobcats will play Wright State in the second round of the CIT tournament, not IPFW. The CIT format does not include a set bracket and places teams in a similar region in games against each other. The Green and White will meet up with their in-state rival Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Convo.
Despite the departure of a senior Jon Smith earlier in the week, Ohio found a way to defeat Cleveland State 64-62 in the first round of the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament Wednesday night.
Smith left the team earlier this week after deciding that he no longer wanted to play basketball. Smith’s absence left room for Antonio Campbell and Treg Setty to step up, leading to career-highs in points for both players on Wednesday. Campbell finished with a game-high 21 points, and Setty poured in 13 points. The freshman forward carried the Bobcats down the stretch, scoring eight of Ohio’s final 10 points.
“Because these guys get these opportunities the team grows,” head coach Jim Christian said. “Antonio Campbell grew as a player; Treg Setty grew as a player.”
With the game tied at 60 with 0:46 left, Ohio inbounded the ball to Nick Kellogg in the corner. Kellogg took two dribbles in before stepping back and draining the go-ahead jump with Trey Lewis draped all over him.
At the other end, Travis Wilkins was whistled for a foul on Bryn Forbes as he came around a baseline screen. Forbes, who led Cleveland State with 20 points, sank both of his free throws to tie the game at 62 with 0:32 to play.
Following an Ohio timeout, the Bobcats swung the ball around the perimeter before entering the ball into Maurice Ndour in the post. Facing a double team, Ndour turned and found an open Antonio Campbell on the baseline, who went up strong and got fouled by Anton Grady with only four seconds on the clock. Campbell, a 42 percent free throw shooter on the season, calmly drained both free throws to give Ohio the lead and the game.
“When he went to the line, we told our guys to box out because he shoots forty-something percent, and I’d hate to say that every dog has its day, but he had his day today.” Cleveland State coach Gary Waters noted.
Ohio did not shoot particularly well in the game, making just 41.7 percent of its shots from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range. However, the Bobcats were able to overcome their shooting difficulties by getting to the free throw line and taking care of the ball.
“This is without question the toughest group of guys I have ever coached,” Christian said.
Ohio went to the line a total of 21 times, making 17 attempts (81 percent). After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, the Bobcats handled Cleveland State’s pressure and took care of the ball in the second half, turning it over only four times.
Cleveland State applied intense pressure to Ohio in the first half, picking up ball handlers quickly after crossing half court and blitzing the ball handler on all ball screens. Anton Grady got Cleveland State off to a good start, scoring 10 points in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Stevie Taylor and Setty were the catalysts for the Bobcats in the first half, allowing Ohio to head into halftime leading 32-31. Taylor came off the bench and scored 10 of his 13 points in the half. The junior point guard scored six straight points for Ohio to erase the Vikings’ lead.
“If (Setty) didn’t do what he did, we probably would have been up by four or five points,” Waters said.
Setty then took over, scoring nine straight for Ohio to close out the half. The sophomore forward gave Ohio the lead on three separate occasions in that stretch. He drained a 3-pointer followed by a mid-range jump shot and four free throws at the end of the half.
With the win, Ohio moves on to second round of the CIT. The Bobcats will match up with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in the Convo on Saturday.
Photos by Daniel Rader and Tessa Brediger