Head coach Saul Phillips holds his breath in the huddle as he prepares to give a speech during the second half of the game. (Daniel Linhart/WOUB)

Bobcats Ground Falcons

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The first time these two teams met, the Ohio Bobcats scored 50 points and just 19 in the first half.

On Tuesday, Ohio (13-16, 6-11) scored 75 points and defeated the Bowling Green State Falcons (16-14, 7-10) 75-59 on Senior Night.

Ohio seized control of the game early, by going to Doug Taylor early and often. In the first matchup in January, Taylor had just one-shot attempt. At the first media time out, Taylor had six points and two dunks. With 14:26 remaining in the half, the game was tied at 8.

From there, it was all Ohio.

Over the next seven minutes, Ohio went on a 19-5 run and led 27-13. During the run, Ohio got points from seven different players, showing just how far the offense has come.

“Overall just our execution was better,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “I saw it coming actually before the wins. We talk about that all time. Usually you can see start to see trends and things start to click. If you’ve got five, six guys in double figures that means your team is becoming more and more unselfish and understanding its easier if everyone pushes together.”

Last time these two teams played, Ohio had three assists for the game. Tonight, Mike Laster had seven assists by himself.

“The stat line that really jumps out to me tonight is Mike Laster’s seven assists and one turnover,” Phillips said. “Passing hasn’t been his forte since he’s been here but he has been one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever been around. He goes out, helping his teammates win a game. That’s pretty neat.”

A triple by Laster extended Ohio’s lead to 32-15, with 5:41 remaining. Ohio kept their foot on the gas. A three by Teyvion Kirk gave Ohio a 37-17 advantage.

Bowling Green went on a 5-0 run at the end of the half but was still down 12, 39-27.

The Bobcats led by double figures for the entire second half. Demajeo Wiggins hit a pair of free throws to put Bowling Green down 44-33 with 16:42 remaining. The lead hovered around 15 until there was 5:17 remaining.

Four points by Wiggins and a free throw by Antwon Lillard made it a 10-point game, 61-51. But that’s the closest they got. Ohio got it back up to 20 before subbing in seniors Sam Frayer, Antonio Bisutti and the rest of the walk-ons.

“Not only him [Laster] but Frayer. For gosh sakes, the guy’s been there to do anything for us, whenever we wanted,” Phillips said. “Even the last couple of days, doing a little extra duty with [Ben] Vander Plas on the other end.”

“Antonio, all he’s done is work and take elbows from Doug. One time I thought he got his whole mouth, all of his teeth knocked out by Doug on an elbow, back the next day, not complaining. And then Kevin, who really engrained himself so quickly to this program. It seemed like he was around a lot longer than nine months or so.”

Wiggins led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Justin Turner had 14 points. No other Falcon was above six.

For Ohio, it was the fourth straight game that at least five players were in double figures. Laster and Kirk had 16 each. Taylor added 14, Jordan Dartis had 11 points and James Gollon chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

The win, moves Ohio to 4-0 on senior night, under Phillips.

“Not pressure, just more like insuring. That we have to get the job done, just because we love our teammates and it wouldn’t be fair to send them out with an L,” Taylor said about senior night. “Just because we can comeback next year, we should go as hard as we possibly can for the guys that can’t.”

It was announced at the press conference tonight was career win number 200 for Phillips. Phillips goes for win number 201 on Friday in the season finally against the Miami Redhawks. Tipoff is set for 7p.m.