Bobcats Host Alcorn State Saturday

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It is no shock for a team with a new coach, a new style of play and a host of new players to struggle coming out of the gates, so not surprisingly, Coach Phillips’ Ohio Bobcats squad has scuffled out to a 2-3 start.

Fresh off a disappointing 80-70 loss to St. Bonaventure, Ohio is looking to bounce back at home against 1-6 Alcorn State on Saturday. The Braves—whose lone win this season came against NAIA school Dillard—is a bit of a change of pace from Ohio’s past few opponents.

Of Ohio’s last four opponents, only one of them had a record of below .500 (Arkansas Pine Bluff), and the three teams that beat the Bobcats have a combined record of 21-5. With an opponent like Alcorn State, it’s simply about taking care of their own business for the Bobcats.

“We gotta play hard,” Stevie Taylor noted. “We gotta take care of business from the get-go, and at the end of the day it is all about us.”

The Braves have fairly balanced scoring with four players scoring in double figures. Leantwan Luckett leads the attack with 15.6 points per game. The junior forward isn’t efficient, though, as he only shoots 35 percent from the field and just 63 percent from the free throw stripe.

Averaging 64 points a game, scoring isn’t the main reason for Alcorn State’s 1-6 start. In all but one of their losses, the Braves have given up at least 70 points, which is good news for the Bobcats since they’ve scored at least 70 points three times this season.

The key issue for Phillips’s team has been putting together a complete game. In the loss to Florida Gulf Coast, Ohio got off to a slow start and fell behind by double digits and was unable to overcome the deficit in the second half. The script was flipped in the St. Bonaventure loss, though. Ohio moved the ball extremely well in the first half and headed into halftime leading 37-36 before falling behind by double digits in the second half.

Despite the rough start, both the coaching staff and the players remain confident in the team.

“I think we’re really close,” Taylor said. “It’s just a couple minor tweaks here and some minor tweaks there and polish some things up, and as long as we get it back by MAC Play, I think we’ll be fine.”