Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Squanders 19-point Lead in Loss to Tulsa

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Coming into its matchup with Tulsa, Ohio knew that it would be a rather tall test, but the Bobcats opened the game like it was ready for the test. The team rode its hot start into halftime with a 54-37 lead. However, it wouldn’t last as turnovers and fouls plagued the ‘Cats in the second half. Tulsa outscored the ‘Cats 53-34 in the second half sneaking away with a 90-88 win in the first round of the Paradise Jam.

Not surprisingly, Tulsa looked much more ready to play at the start of the second half. The Golden Hurricanes scored the first six points of the half, but a Treg Setty layup and a Doug Taylor and-one recaptured some momentum for Ohio, making it 59-45.

Ohio held a comfortable lead until Tulsa applied some full-court pressure. The press sped up the Bobcats offense and forced Mike Laster to travel on back-to-back possessions. Those two turnovers resulted in a Shaquille Harrison layup and jump shot from James Woodard to cut Ohio’s lead to 70-58.

Ohio hit a major drought from the field after failing to hit more than one shot over a nine-minute stretch down the stretch of the second half. The Hurricanes closed the gap before three consecutive turnovers allowed the Hurricanes to tie the game with two-and-a-half minutes left in regulation.

Ohio committed 23 turnovers allowing the Hurricanes score 38 points off of turnovers. The ‘Cats mustered 10 points off of 9 Tulsa turnovers.

Tulsa’s Shaquille Harrison scored 23 points in the second half finishing the game with 31 points and five assists.

Foul trouble also hampered the Bobcats as Antonio Campbell was limited to just 17 minutes of game time after picking up his fourth personal foul with over 12 minutes left in the second half.

Ohio jumped out to an early 11-7 lead on the strength of a pair of Jaaron Simmons 3-pointers. The redshirt sophomore point guard got Ohio off to a good start, as he scored 10 of Ohio’s first 18 points. What made that even more impressive was that Simmons did that in less than 10 minutes. Simmons went out near the 12:00 mark, and in the brief time that Simmons was on the bench the Golden Hurricanes closed the gap to 18-14.

Saul Phillips’ team shot 61.5 percent from the field and 80 percent from deep. The 54-point outburst was the highest scoring half for Ohio since the Bobcats hung 55 on DePaul in the Diamondhead Classic last season. Conversely, Ohio held Tulsa to just 39.2 percent from the floor.

That did not last long, though. Ohio head coach quickly put Simmons back in the game, and on back-to-back possessions, he set up Kenny Kaminski for a 3-pointer and Tony Campbell for a layup in transition to make it 23-14. Kaminski’s three jumpstarted a 14-3 run from Ohio that included a 3-pointer and a tough layup from freshman guard Jordan Dartis.

Dartis continued his hot play from Monday’s win over Tennessee State, as he put up 11 points on 3-3 shooting from the field.

In addition to Simmons, Ohio got a big lift from forward Kenny Kaminski, who had been struggling from the floor coming into this game. The redshirt junior scored 18 points in the first half on 4-5 shooting from deep.

Ohio’s only major problem in the first half was foul trouble, as six players had at least two fouls in the first 20 minutes. For the third straight game, Campbell got in trouble early, picking up two in the first half.

The ‘Cats will play the loser of the Indiana State/Norfolk State