Photo Credit: Ben Wielgopolski

Bobcats Rout Iona 89-65

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The Ohio Bobcats (4-2) came into the game Tuesday night with a perfect 3-0 record at the Convocation Center. They had to beat a tough Iona Gaels team to keep this record on the season.

The Bobcats used their length to pound the ball inside all night and finished the game with 50 points in the paint as a team.

They outscored Iona (2-4) 46-28 in the second half including a 13-0 run with nine minutes left to play to help propel them to an 89-65 victory.

The Gaels struggled against Ohio’s defense as they only shot 32.3 percent from the field as a team.

Leading scorer E.J. Crawford who came in averaging 17.7 points per game was held to just four points on the night.

“Can’t say enough about the job we did particularly in the second half, Iona is a good team from a good conference with good players,” said Coach Saul Phillips about his team’s defensive effort.

“We took three offensive players who scare you watching them on tape and we took them out of the game, so I’m very of our guys for that.”

In the first half neither team could take control of the game. There were two ties and seven lead changes, and the Bobcats headed into the locker room with just a six-point lead. A big play in the half came with five minutes left when Jason Carter stripped the ball away from Andrija Ristanovic and went coast to coast and threw it down with his left hand to give the Bobcats a big jolt in the half.

Carter finished the half with 11 points and was a very efficient 5-7 from the field. Another Bobcat who had a big first half was Ben Vander Plas who coming off the bench had 13 points and was lighting up the floor form outside shooting 3-5 from beyond the arc.

In the second half, the defense stepped up in a big way for Ohio. The Bobcats held the Gaels to just 24.1 percent from the field and 7.1 percent from three. Ohio also drew several charges throughout the half that would slow down any momentum the Gaels could gain.

“It’s definitely a big energy boost for the guys on the floor and on the bench,” said Ben Vander Plas on drawing all the charges.

The bench also played a key role in the victory for the Bobcats. They finished the game with 36 points off the bench and the balk of those came from Ben Vander Plas and Gavin Block who finished the game with 18 and 13 points respectively. The redshirt freshman Vander Plas has been a force of the bench for the Bobcats so far this season.

“With that kind of production, we’re going to have to get him more minutes,” Coach Phillips said about getting Vander Plas more minutes. “Even when we haven’t been shooting it well, he’s been shooting it well.”

The Bobcats look to keep their win streak at the Convocation Center on Saturday against the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Tip off is set for 3:30 PM.