Ohio Overcomes Turnovers to Take Round Two< < Back to
The Ohio Bobcats (14-16, 7-11) overcame 17 turnovers and took down the Miami Redhawks (15-16, 8-10) 75-66 to cap a season sweep in the Battle of the Bricks.
The victory is Ohio’s seventh straight against Miami and their 14th win over the Redhawks in their past 15 matchups. The Bobcats shot 58 percent from the field in the first half but somehow found themselves trailing 35-32 at the break. Ten first-half turnovers told the whole story.
“This has been a journey, obviously we’d like to be healthy but we just won four of five with what we have so I’m confident in what we can do going forward,” head coach Saul Phillips said postgame.
Basketball can be a simple game and the Bobcats made it easy on themselves in the second half: control the ball and let Jordan Dartis go to work. Ohio only gave up the rock seven times in the second half, all while Dartis went 4-of-5 from deep in the last 20 minutes on a bum hip, finishing with 21 points and five rebounds. Mike Laster cooled off a bit following 13 points in the first 20 minutes but his tear drop bucket with less than a minute to play sealed the Bobcats fourth win in five games. The senior made his presence felt in what could be his final matchup against Miami, tallying 22 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 10-of-17 shooting.
“We changed what we were running, got the ball out of TK’s (Teyvion Kirk) hands, I took the point to get some pressure off of him,” Dartis said about the difference between the two halves offensively.
Ohio took control of the ball game during a four-minute stretch without a turnover late in the second half. Miami head coach Jack Owens sealed the Redhawk’s fate after receiving a technical foul with under three minutes left. Owens wasn’t too happy with a call made on the floor and Ohio never looked back.
Kirk struggled shooting the rock, his seven points on 3-of-9 shooting ended a 21-game double-digit scoring streak, but he still pulled in seven rebounds, and dished out four assists to combat his seven turnovers. Kirk’s impact was really felt on the defensive end, holding Darrian Ringo to 1-of-5 shooting and just two assists. Ringo came into the game leading the Mid-American Conference in assists, averaging 7.4 per game.
“TK struggled on offense but he did a great job of forcing (Darrian) Ringo to go wherever he wanted on defense,” Phillips said.
The young talent for Miami shined in the loss, breakout freshman Nike Sibande finished with a game-high 23 points and four assists on 5-of-11 shooting. Meanwhile, fellow freshman Jordan Adaway complimented him with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Ohio now awaits the result of Saturday’s contest between Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Depending on the result, the Bobcats will travel to Bowling Green or Miami for the first round of the MAC Tournament.