Forward Gavin Block attempts a jumper in the first round of the 2018 MAC Tournament.

Ohio Falls in First Round After Slow Start

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The Ohio Bobcats won the second half by two points.

The only problem is the played their worst half of the season in the first half.

Ohio (14-17) could not over come their bad start and fell to the Miami Redhawks (16-16) 68-55.

Halftime could not have come any sooner for Ohio. At the break, the Bobcats were 8-33 from the field and just 1-12 from beyond the arc. Only four players scored for Ohio. Meanwhile, Miami shot 48 percent and buried five threes.

“We weren’t patient. We didn’t reverse it. I don’t know if we were a little hyped,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “But certainly, when you had so much success so much off the pass, using curls, that type of thing, it was disappointing to come out like we did offensively. We started to look a little familiar there in the second half.”

A few minutes into the second half, Ohio looked like a different team. They attacked the basket and were moving the ball. Gavin Block had four assists on six baskets at the first media time out. After just four minutes 43 seconds of second half action, Ohio scored 15 points: just three less than they scored in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Ohio continued to try and mound a comeback. A layup by Teyvion Kirk put Ohio down seven, 46-39. Ohio was on a 21-13 run to start the half. After a layup by Darrian Ringo, Block found Mike Laster for three with 11:15 left, making the score 48-42.

Ohio once again made it a six-point game with 8:48 left, 50-44, with a layup from Doug Taylor. But that is the closest Ohio got. Over the next two minutes, Miami scored six straight points and the lead was back to 12.

A three by Isaiah Coleman-Lands with 2:03 left put away all doubt and gave Miami the win.

Injuries have been the story for this team all season and the injury bug bit one last time. Late in the first half, Jordan Dartis reaggravated his nagging hip injury. Dartis fell to the floor in the right corner. Dartis had to be helped to the floor and was on crutches for the rest of the game.

“Yeah, I couldn’t keep guys fresh with [Jordan Dartis] out,” Phillips about guys hitting a wall in the second half. “That [Dartis injury] was kinda the wave that capsizes the boat.”

The loss ends the careers for Laster, Kevin Mickle, Sam Frayer and Antonio Bisutti. In his last game, Laster led the way with 16 points. Block had three points, five rebounds and seven assists. Taylor had 13 points and eight rebounds. James Gollon chipped in 12 points. Teyvion Kirk had a game to forget with 11 points on 4-14 shooting and fouled out. He did have team-high nine rebounds.

“He had a great season, this wasn’t his finest hour, he’ll be back. Played some great ball this year and to lump it all on him in one loss would be a mistake by me,” Phillips said.

Ringo was held to just four points on Friday but got his revenge, scoring a game-high 21 points.

“He was super aggressive, right from the get go. You could see something different in his eye, just really played well,” Phillips said. “I think a guy that good that struggles as mightily as he did last game against us probably had a chip on his shoulder.”

Ohio will use these next few months to finally get healthy, while Miami will travel to Cleveland to take on the Toledo Rockets on Thursday.