Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio’s Defense Leads Bobcats to Victory

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An ugly win still goes down in the books as a win.

Ohio Men’s Basketball had 23 turnovers and only scored 28 points in the first half, but it was enough to beat Cleveland State, 71-53, on Saturday afternoon.

At the half, Antonio Campbell only had two shot attempts and Ohio had 10 turnovers. But the defense picked up the slack. Ohio (7-2) had its best defensive half as they held Cleveland State (3-7) to a season low for a half, 21 points. The Vikings did not score a point in the last 5:45 of the half and held Cleveland State to 1-of-13 from the field to end the half.

But as Ohio has done so often this year, the offense came around in the second half. Campbell scored 11 of his game high 14 points and Ohio hit seven 3-pointers in the second half.

Cleveland State only led for 37 seconds in this one. A three by Gavin Block gave Ohio a 3-2 lead, one they did not give up. That three sparked a 10-2 run by Ohio. A Doug Taylor layup with 13:07 remaining gave Ohio a 17-8 lead. The two teams traded points until a jumper by Demonte Flannigan made it a 23-21 game, in favor of the Bobcats. That was the closest Cleveland State got. A Jason Carter free throw gave Ohio a 28-21 lead.

The second half began with Ohio going on a 13-5 run to lead 41-26 with 14:54 to go. Ohio increased the lead to 21, 53-32, with 9:30 remaining. Ohio kept the lead in double figures for the remainder of the game.

No player scored in double digits for the Vikings. Flannigan led with eight points but fouled out with 7:42 remaining. Rob Edwards came into the game as the leading scorer for the Vikings but was held to just seven points.

Campbell had 14 points and six rebounds for Ohio. Gavin Block had one of his best games of the year, scoring 11 points and hitting three 3-pointers. Jaaron Simmons had 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists and eight turnovers. Doug Taylor had another good game off the bench with eight points.

Ohio’s next game is on the road as they play Western Kentucky on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 9:00p.m.