Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Bobcats fall to Eastern Michigan

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The Ohio Bobcats, the best defensive team in the Mid-American Conference, came to play. The only problem is its offense did not.

The Bobcats were held to their lowest field goal percentage of the year (30.4). They shot just 16-of-29 from the foul line and 5-of-20 from beyond the arc. Their 49 points was the fewest they’ve scored since January 2014.

In a game of twists and turns, Ohio (11-4, 3-1) fell to the Eastern Michigan Eagles (11-6, 301), 53-49.

“If you give up 53 points at home you should win the game,” Ohio Coach Saul Phillips said. “If you miss 13 free throws, you should lose, especially against a good team. Anyone know a good hypnotist?”

Three minutes into the game, Ohio forward Antonio Campbell was subbed out due to a foot injury. He was benched with a boot on his leg and did not return to the game.

Campbell’s absence would not prevent the Bobcats from battling their opponent.

As James Thompson IV attempted to grab the rebound of his missed layup, he and Gavin Block got tangled in a brief scuffle on the ground. Block, Thompson, Kenny Kaminski and Baylee Steele received technical fouls for throwing shoves in this incident.

“I was just trying to come out with the ball, get a rebound and get out of there,” Block said. “Eastern is a pretty tough team, gotta be tough, get some boards and help the big guys down there.”

The game remained close throughout the second half, as the Bobcats and EMU traded baskets.

With 10 seconds left, Ohio elected not to foul which enabled Tim Bond to drill a daggering 3-pointer, giving the Eagles a win.

Willie Mangum IV had a game-high 17 points. Ty Toney had 13 points and James Thompson chipped in 11.

Jason Carter played well in Campbell’s absence, earning his first double-double as a Bobcat, contributing team-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dartis and Kaminski had 12 points apiece.

Despite not having much information on Campbell’s condition, Philips refuses to let this injury deter his unit.

“We’re allowed five guys on the floor. They all get the same scholarship, they all get the same stipend and whoever is out there has a job to do and as a group, collectively we didn’t get it done,” Philips said. “Game won’t factor any differently at the end of the year because Tony went down.”

Ohio will have to shake this one off quickly, as they travel to Akron on Tuesday to face the Zips who are undefeated in MAC play.