Ohio Bobcats guard/forward Gavin Block (22) Photo Credit: Sarah Stier – Ohio Athletics

Bobcats Couldn’t Claw Their Way Out

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The Ohio Bobcats had their chances.

Five to be exact.

And they could not take advantage.

The Ohio Bobcats fell to the Akron Zips 71-68, inside James A. Rhodes Arena on Tuesday night.

Ohio had five chances to take the lead and could not do it all five times.

Down 42-41 with 14:55 left in the game, Ohio turned the ball over twice and missed a layup.

Seven minutes later, the game was tied at 56, but they turned the ball over twice. After that, Akron went on an 11-2 run, taking a 67-58 lead with 3:24 left in the game.

An 8-0 run, capped off by a Mike Laster bucket, cut it to one, 67-66. Ohio forced a turnover, but missed on the other end. The Zips made four free throws over the last 20 seconds, to win the game.

Gavin Blocks six triples kept Ohio in the game. Block had a game-high 18 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

“We kept fighting but we just couldn’t execute,” Block told reporters after the game. “Down the stretch, you’ve got to come together as a team and grind it out and make a lot of winning plays.”

After starting off cold, Akron found their groove. A Virshon Cotton three started a 12-0 run for the Zips, giving them a 25-11 lead with 8:46 left. But Ohio went on a run of there own. A 14-6 run over the next six minutes made it a 31-26 ballgame. A couple buckets gave Akron the 36-29 lead at the break.

Ohio came out of the half strong, on an 11-5 run, trailing 42-41 with 14:55 remaining. Then came the missed opportunities.

Ohio never led in this game. Ohio had their chances but, like the Kent State game, could not capitalize on them.

Teyvion Kirk had 16 points, and six assists. Doug Taylor chipped in 11 rebounds and 6 boards. Jimond Ivey paced the Zips with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Malcom Duvivier had 16 points and Daniel Utomi chipped in 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

The Bobcats return to the Convocation Center on Friday, when they host the Buffalo Bulls. Tipoff is set for 6:30p.m and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.