Podcast: Ohio Prepares For Central Michigan, Kent State

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The Bobcats had the bounce back week they wanted after losing at Akron on Feb. 2. They won on the road to Ball State, going 3-1 on their four-game road trip, and returned to the Convocation Center to beat Bowling Green.

The Bobcats went to a different starting lineup for the two games, starting T.J. Hall over Ivo Baltic, looking for an offensive surge from the forward. For the most part, it worked, as Hall averaged 11.0 points last week.

Ohio looks to continue its winning ways in the conference this week as they travel to Central Michigan (9-14, 2-8 MAC) on Wednesday and return home for a rematch against Kent State (13-11, 4-6 MAC) on Saturday.

The Chippewas have struggled to start off their conference play, losing their past six games and eight of their last 10. Their two MAC victories came against Bowling Green and Ball State, and they were able to hang with Akron until the Zips pulled away in the final minutes.

Guard Kyle Randall was the leading scorer for Central Michigan in their 69-57 loss with 22 points. The 5-foot-10 guard is one of the top scorers in the conference with 17.2 points a game. Against MAC foes, he’s averaging a conference best 19.5 a game.

As a team, though, the Chippewas have not had success scoring. They rank 11th in the conference in scoring margin with -4.6.

Their style of play is similar to the Bobcats, as they rely on their outside shooting to hide their weaknesses inside. They’re 10th in the MAC with 32.4 rebounds a game and John Simons leads the team with 5.0 a game. Ohio is 11th with 31.0 a game.

Central Michigan has made the second most threes in the conference, averaging 7.9 a game while Ohio is first with 8.3.

If the Chips can hit their outside shots, they can be very dangerous. The problem is they haven’t been getting anything to fall this season, as they are 306th in the nation with a .406 field goal percentage.

The Bobcats’ return to the Convo will be against a team they defeated earlier this season in a 69-68 thriller. The Golden Flashes will have revenge on their mind when they enter Athens, Oh. on Saturday.

In their last matchup, D.J. Cooper and Reggie Keely led the way with 23 and 20 points, respectively. The two seniors’ play was huge, as the Bobcats couldn’t get a shot to fall, shooting just 25.0% from deep.

Chris Evans had his way with the Ohio big men, scoring 20 points and pulling down seven rebounds. As a 6-foot-8 forward that can hit the outside shot, Evans is a difficult guard for the Bobcats. He is towards the top of the MAC with 16.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

The other big scorer for Kent State is guard Randal Holt. He had 14 points from the field, despite the poor shooting performance, against the Bobcats. He shot just 3/12 from the field with all his made shots coming from behind the arc.

Holt will have revenge on his mind, as he was the guard that drove to the basket and missed the runner at the buzzer to win the game.

Ohio will take on Central Michigan Wednesday at 7 p.m., looking to become 9-1 in conference play. The Bobcats return home to take on Kent State at 11 a.m. on Saturday, where the first 1,000 students will receive free McDonald’s breakfast.