Photo Cred: Ohio Athletics

Huge Second Half Propels Bobcats to Victory

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The Ohio Bobcats have wrapped up non-conference play, handing the Urbana Blue Knights a 77-50 defeat in the Convocation Center on Friday. The final score though may not show the tale of two halves that had Ohio coach Saul Phillips visibly upset going into the halftime locker room.

It was pretty clear why.

The Bobcats trailed the Division II squad 34-31 at the half and it had plenty to do with attitude and effort. Phillips clearly set those attributes straight in the locker room.

Ohio outscored Urbana 46-16 in the second half, cruising to victory in their final test before Mid-American Conference play.

The halftime motivation led to a 19-0 scoring run out of the break and Ohio never looked back at their porous start. Kenny Kaminski led all scorers with 18 points and did the majority of his damage in the second half. Jordan Dartis’ 14 points weren’t far behind and the sophomore guard kept Ohio’s offense afloat in the opening half with four made 3-pointers.

Urbana played hard defense on the Bobcats throughout the first half and it really affected Ohio’s ability to get off quality shots. Outside of Dartis, the team went 7-of-21 from the field in the first 20 minutes and it had everything to do with the ferocious defense the Blue Knights brought to the floor. Urbana utilized the 2-3 zone to perfection throughout the opening half, but Ohio cracked the Blue Knights defensive code after the break.

Urbana was led by Jahmere Howze’s 14 points — Howze was the catalyst to the Blue Knights impressive start — though 10 turnovers dampened his scoring effort. Dequan Abrom was the only other Blue Knight in double figures, finishing with 12 points on 66 percent shooting.

Phillips decided to rest star player Antonio Campbell in this contest after he came out of Wednesday’s practice with a sore knee.

Starting in his place was backup center Doug Taylor.

The sophomore finished with 11 points on a 3-of-3 shooting night. Taylor consistently bullied the Blue Knights in the paint and used his massive frame to draw fouls at will.

Starting Ohio point guard Jaaron Simmons stuck true to his season form thus far, turning in a 10 point, seven assist performance. Simmons fought to find his shot throughout the game but an assertive putback dunk in the first half made the home crowd forget his shooting struggles.

The Bobcats will have a few days to narrow their focus before taking on Western Michigan in the Convocation Center on Jan. 3.