Bobcats Down Marshall 85-70

Second Half Surge Propels Ohio Men’s Basketball Over Marshall

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The Ohio Bobcats overcame a very sluggish start and 12 first half turnovers to defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd 85-70 on Tuesday night.

With 7:53 left in the first half and his team down 26-19, Bobcat head coach Saul Phillips called a timeout. His team had 10 turnovers, which led to 15 Marshall points, and he was not happy.

“Around seven [minutes] to go, coach called a timeout and yelled at Jaaron [Simmons], and told him to turn it up and that is what he did.”

Simmons said he could not repeat what a fired-up Phillips said to him. “He got on me pretty tough but I don’t take it personal,” Simmons said.  “I’m going to take it as a challenge, and I tried to turn it up and go out there and help the team win.”

After the exchange, Simmons took his game to a higher level. From that point he scored 21 of his game-high 25 points and had five of his team-high six assists. Simmons continued to get to the free-throw line. He attempted 14 free throws, which is three more than Marshall attempted as a team.

A Jordan Dartis three-pointer cut the Herd’s lead to two points at 30-28 with five minutes to go in the first half. Simmons hit a layup in transition to tie the game at 34. With 27 seconds left, junior forward Ryan Taylor hit a layup for Marshall, but Simmons tied the game at 36 to end the half.

To start the second half, Marshall scored the first four points. Ohio scored the next eight points, highlighted by a three-pointer by Campbell and an and-one by Treg Setty. Ohio had a 44-40 lead–one it would not relinquish. Ohio pushed the lead to seven points after Simmons hit two straight jumpers. With 7:05 left in the game Setty hit a 3-ball to make Ohio’s lead 68-55. Kenny Kaminski hit a three-pointer with 1:50 to go in the game, which removed all doubt.

Despite the win, Phillips was not happy with his teams turnovers.

“My blood pressure got up tonight,” he said. “I am usually even keeled. It bothers me that we’re not taking care of the ball better. It really bothers me. I told the guys afterwards it’s nice when you can look back and have such glaring things to get better at and you look at the scoreboard and it’s a 15 point win.”

The win improves Ohio to 4-2 on the season. Up next for the Bobcats is a trip to St. Bonaventure, New York, to take on the 3-2 St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.