Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Drops First Game of Season to Marshall

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The Ohio Bobcats scored 88 points, on the road, against a very good team who is a rival. Normally that is good enough to get the win. But not on Wednesday night.

The Ohio Bobcats lost 98-88 to the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Marshall point guard Jon Elmore showed why he was a preseason All-Conference USA selection. Head coach Saul Phillips said Elmore is the best guard Ohio has faced all year long with out question. Elmore went for 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

“I think I got most of my points through our offense. That’s the way we play, we get up and down and a lot of transition buckets and transition shots,” Elmore said.

“I think we just executed tonight everybody pretty much had double digit scoring. I felt like I was shooting good tonight but credit to our team. We moved the ball and executed and that’s why we scored so many points.”

All five starters for the Thundering Herd scored in double figures.

Phillips knew that his defense was going to be tested by the pace of the Thundering Herd. Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni runs a very similar offense to his brother, Mike D’Antoni.

Ohio started off slowly, going 2-7 from the field and trailed 12-6. But an 8-2 run tied the game at 14. The two teams traded points until Marshall went on a 10-5 run and led 31-25. A 3-ball by Jordan Dartis cut the Marshall lead to two, 38-36. The two teams traded baskets until a three-pointer by Austin Loop gave Marshall a 42-38 half time advantage. At the half, the two teams combined to attempt 31 threes.

Ohio began the second half on a 9-0 run and led 47-42. For the first and only time, the Marshall crowd of over 6,000 was completely silent.

“Terrific, yeah it was good. Sounded and felt like a rivalry game,” Phillips said on the atmosphere. “It was loud and I didn’t think fans crossed the line in anyway.”

After a time out, the Herd went on a 10-3 run, capped off by a jumper by Aleksa Nikolic, to take a 52-50 lead. A pair of free throws by Ryan Taylor gave Marshall a 56-55 lead with 13:17 to go. From that point, Ohio gave up 42 points. A 3-pointer by Stevie Browning gave Marshall a 63-58 lead with 11 minutes remaining.

A three by Elmore extended the Marshall lead to 9, 71-62 with nine minutes remaining. The lead hovered between nine and 14 points for the rest of the game. Marshall went 17-22 from the foul line in the second half and iced the game.

Jaaron Simmons struggled from the field, going 4-17, but Phillips said they will figure it out.

“His shooting percentage this year has been low and I think at times he has forced it a little bit,” Phillips said. “He is as smart and as coachable as they come so we will come to a solution together and we will work it out. I still wouldn’t trade him, I can promise you that.”

Antonio Campbell seemed a little off for most of the game, which is amazing to say because he had 31 points and 16 rebounds. Dartis continued his great shooting, hitting four 3’s and scoring 16 points. Simmons dished out seven assists.

Ryan Taylor scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds. Loop hit five 3’s and scored 15 points.

The Ohio Bobcats return to action on Saturday when they welcome Bryant University to the Convocation Center.