Ohio University guard, Teyvion Kirk, reacts after slam dunking the ball during the Ohio vs Central Michigan Mens Basketball game at The Convocation Center on Saturday, February 3rd in Athens, Ohio. (Austin Janning/WOUB)

Sluggish Start Plagues Bobcats

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The Ohio Bobcats (10-15, 3-10) could not overcome the slow start Tuesday night, falling 82-74 to the Toledo Rockets (19-7, 11-2) 

The game could not have started off any worse for Ohio, as Toledo opened the game on a 15-0 run. It wasn’t until five minutes into the game that Jordan Dartis finally put the Bobcats on the board with a jumperKevin Mickle and Teyvion Kirk led the way for the Bobcats as they managed to stay within striking distance. Despite the sluggish start, Ohio was only down 10 at the break. 

After falling down by 15, Ohio went on a 9-0 run to get back in the game. Less than two minutes later, Toledo got the lead back up to nine, thanks to a layup by Luke Knapke.  

The two teams traded points, until a dunk by Taylor Adway gave Toledo a 32-18 advantage. Ohio stayed in the game thanks to 12 first half points from Kevin Mickle. A triple by Nate Navigato ballooned the Toledo lead to 18, 37-19 with 4:48. But Toledo only scored two more points the rest of the way, allowing Ohio to stay within striking distance.  

The two teams traded buckets to start the second half. But a pair of free throws by Knapke and Tre’Shaun Fletcher gave Toledo the 55-38 lead. Another 9-0 run by Ohio, capped off by a three-pointer from Mike Laster, put the game in single digits with 10:11 remaining. 

Toledo kept the game in double figures until the five-minute mark. A Mickle jumper capped off a 9-2 run and with 2:34 remaining, Ohio was down just six, 67-61. But that’s the closest they got. The Rockets got the lead back up to 10 within a minute and made their free throws to ice the game.  

The Bobcats have now dropped six of their last seven games and still have only one road win in the Mid-American Conference play this season.  This win puts Toledo in the driving seat in the MAC West, 11-2 in conference play. The Bobcats are in  ole position of last place in the MAC East. 

The loss over showded solid performances from Teyvion Kirk and Mickle. Kirk had were 21 points and 10 reboundsMickle had a career high 24 points and added six rebounds. James Gollon had 11 points.  

Jaelan Sanford led Toledo with 21 points, Fletcher had 17 and Navigato added 15 points.  

Ohio looks to respond on Saturday against archrival Miami Redhawks. Tipoff from the Convocation Center is set for 3:30p.m.