Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Huge First-Half Run Helps Ohio Beat Golden Flashes

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The Bobcats were scoring, the Convo was roaring and thanks to a bat, it never got boring.

With 14:39 to go in the opening half, the Ohio Bobcats (10-3, 2-0) and the Kent State Golden Flashes (9-6, 2-0) were tied at 16 points each. From there, Ohio’s defense took over and they cruised to an 85-67 victory. Ohio held Kent State to just 12 points for the rest of the half.

A 3-pointer by Kenny Kaminski gave Ohio a 19-18 lead, one they would never give up. That three was the beginning of an 18-1 run that blew the game open. Four different Bobcats scored during the run, which was capped off by a Jordan Dartis layup, causing Kent State to call a timeout with 6:24 remaining.

The timeout did not do a whole lot of good. Ohio kept scoring and finished the half on an 11-7 run. Ohio extended the lead to 20 points after a 3-ball by Gavin Block.

The second half was more of the same. A 3-pointer by Kaminski gave Ohio a 54-33 lead with 17:09 to go. The two teams traded points for the next 10 minutes until a transition dunk by Antonio Campbell gave Ohio a 74-49 advantage. During the play, Danny Pippen fouled Campbell from behind, and Pippen was called for an intentional foul. From there it was just a matter of running out the clock.

“I’m pretty sure he didn’t know, what an intentional foul was,” Campbell said. “That’s probably his first one of his college career. I think he learned his lesson.”

“I was like ‘Yo what’s up?’ and then I turned around and saw who it was and I thought ‘Ah freshman.’”

Kent State isn’t known for being a great shooting team so they get a lot of their points from offensive rebounding. The Golden Flashes are the best team in country on the offensive glass. At the half, Kent State had just five offensive rebounds. They finished with 22 offensive rebounds but most of them came when the game was out of hand. Those 22 offensive rebounds resulted in just 15 second-chance points.

Because they are so tough on the glass, Kent State is known for being a physical team. But Ohio was up to the challenge.

“I think they got in our heads a little bit,” Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff said. “They were more physical team tonight.”

The highlight of the game came late in the first half when a bat flew around the Convocation Center. The bat was seen flying around the building and near the court and players. The game was not delayed and the bat was not seen during the second half.

“I haven’t seen a bat in here before,” Ohio head coach Saul Phillips said. “I didn’t really know what to do if it would’ve came at me. It certainly added for a distracting couple of minutes there. It was very active and swarming like our defense.”

Ohio is back in action as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls in their first conference road game of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.