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Shaky Defense Hurts Bobcats in Loss to Bowling Green

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During their five-game winning streak the Ohio Bobcats allowed more than 70-points one time. On Tuesday night, they gave up 87-points in an 87-82 loss to the Bowling Green Falcons.

The Bobcats gave up more than 50 second half points to the Falcons for the second time this season. The first time, Bowling Green scored 58 points, and this time they scored 51 points in the second half.

Ohio (18-9, 9-6) could not contain the dribble-drive from Bowling Green (14-14, 5-10) at all. Of their 32 field goals, the Falcons made 26 inside the arc. The Falcons attacked the rim all night long and got Ohio in foul trouble, resulting in making 17 of 22 free throw attempts. Ohio, on the other hand, attempted just eight free throws.

We did not contain the ball at all,” head coach Saul Phillips said on the postgame show. “Our help side defense was non-existent all night.”

Antonio Campbell dominated the first half. The junior forward started 6-6 from the field and 3-3 from behind the arc, scoring 19 of his game-high 29-points in the first half.

The Bobcats got off to a great start, scoring the first nine points in 120 seconds. After five straight from Campbell, Ohio led 14-4. Wesley Alcegaire drilled a 3-ball to cap an 8-3 run, but Ohio still led 17-12 with 12:30 remaining.

Another five straight by Campbell brought the Ohio led back to 10, 22-12. Bowling Green went then on a 9-3 run over 2:30 to trail by only a field goal, 24-21, with 8:08 left. Redshirt senior Treg Setty hit a jumper to make the lead four, 28-24. The lead hovered around four until the final seconds when Antown Lillard made a layup as time expired to make it a one point game, 37-36.

Ohio led for the first 10:20 of the second half until a Rasheed Worrell dunk put Bowling Green up, 57-56. The two teams traded baskets until a 3-pointer by Spencer Parker made it 64-60 with just under seven minutes remaining. Ohio and Bowling Green traded baskets again until Jaaron Simmons buried a three-pointer to give Ohio a 69-68 lead with 3:47 left. That lead lasted 30 seconds until Alcegaire hit a jumper to make it 70-69, with 2:54 left, and Ohio never regained the lead. Down the stretch, Bowling Green made 12 straight free throws to ice the game and seal the victory.

Bowling Green got a balanced effort, having four players score 14-points or more Alcegaire and Parker had 20-points each. Lillard had 15-points and seven rebounds and Worrell chipped in 14-points.

In addition to Campbell’s big night, Simmons had 24-points and nine assists, while Setty had 16.

Ohio missed a golden opportunity on Tuesday. It got help from their rival Miami who defeated first place Akron 77-65. It also got help from the Buffalo Bulls, who defeated Kent State, 87-70. On top of that, Ball State fell to Toledo, 77-67.

“We weren’t able to get it done tonight. It is a tough pill to swallow,” Phillips said.

Ohio will get another chance on Saturday when it returns back home on senior day against the Buffalo Bulls. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.