Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Freshmen Duo Boosts Ohio Men’s Basketball to Win

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On a night where Jaaron Simmons had nine turnovers, Kenny Kaminski had four points and Antonio Campbell shot below 50 percent from the field, the Ohio Bobcats still beat the Tennessee State Tigers 75-67.

After defeating Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday head coach Saul Phillips said, “I really feel like we are going to have a breakout game from someone different fairly often.” Tonight Phillips got that kind of effort from two freshmen: Jordan Dartis and Galvin Block. The two combined for 29 points, six rebounds and four steals.

“We come in with a lot of confidence from our coaches and teammates,” Block said. “I didn’t feel any pressure, we’re just playing ball, really.”

Down 58-50 in the second half, Block and Dartis took over. Block hit two free throws and Dartis hit a three and a layup. Not to be outdone, Block hit another three that sent the 5,854 fans in the Convocation Center into a frenzy, and gave Ohio a 60-59 lead. Tennessee State then turned the ball over on a charge drawn by Block.

“Early in the practice season I wanted to change his name from Galvin Block to Galvin Charge, because he takes so many charges,” Phillips said.

The Bobcats never trailed after that moment. Leading 66-61 with 1:30 left, Dartis hit a three-pointer that put the game out of reach. Ohio went 6 of 6 from the free throw line after that.

The night did not start off great for the Bobcats. The Tigers scored the first 14 points of the game, and with 11:21 to go in the first half, the Bobcats found themselves down 22-12. Then, Dartis hit two of his game-high five 3-pointers, and Simmons hit a free throw to pull Ohio within three points. Moments later, Simmons got a rebound, went coast-to-coast and tied the game up with a three-point play. Tennessee State scored the next seven points to take a 29-22 lead. Simmons and Block combined for the next six points and it was a one point game. A three from Block tied at 31, and the teams traded points until the game was tied at 37 at the half.

The second half began a lot like the first half did, as Ohio got down by double digits at 51-41. A Simmons layup made it a 58-50 game and Phillips called a time out. After that time out, the freshmen heroics started.

“The one thing I take away from this game over everything else is that this group is very resilient,” Phillips said. “They just kept coming back and coming back. We got buried in the first half and buried in the second half, and like a bad zombie movie we just kept coming back.”

The win makes the Bobcats 2-0 on the season. Coming up next for the team is a trip to the 2015 U.S. Virgin Islands Jam, where they will play four games. The first will be against Tulsa on Friday.