Sylvester Ogbonda, Ohio Basketball
Sylvester Ogbonda celebrates a made basket. Photo: Ben Wielgopolski, WOUB Visuals

Ohio Men’s Basketball: Bobcats stay perfect at home

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Athens, OH— Following a dominant performance against Rio Grande, the Ohio Bobcats Men’s basketball team looked to stay perfect during their month long home-stand. The Bobcats welcomed Tennessee Tech to the Convo for their third straight home game.

Despite being without starting guard, Jordan Dartis, a late game push gave the Bobcats an 81-54 win.

Redshirt freshman forward, Mason McMurray, filled in the opening gap in the starting line-up and provided a huge help with second chance points. McMurray finished with five points and eight rebounds, three of which came on the offensive side.

“I thought he played really well,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “I think he played within himself, which is big. One thing with Mason you know you’re going to get his energy. He’s going to play hard, he’s going to try to do the right thing for you. He created a good energy for us.”

The Bobcats started the game off with a quick alley-oop pass from Lunden McDay to Jason Preston. Ohio held a lot of momentum entering the first media timeout with an 11-3 lead.

Things started to slow down for the Bobcats as the Golden Eagles cut the deficit.

Ohio jumped to a 34-19 lead but stalled as they didn’t make a basket in the last three minutes of the half. Their hot start on both sides of the ball allowed the Bobcats to hold a 39-25 halftime lead.

Fresh out of the break, the Golden Eagles showed signs of fight as Junior Clay made his first 4 shots of the half, giving him his only 12 points of the half.

However, the Bobcat defense went back to normal and recorded eight steals to give them the final push.

“We locked in on transition defense,” Sophmore guard Jason Preston said. “Just keep talking and we can really make some things happen on defense.”

The sophomore duo of Preston and Ben Vander Plas was alive and well as they totaled for 41 of the teams points along with 20 of the team’s rebounds.

Thanks to his strong efforts on both sides of the ball, Vander Plas had his second double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

“With a couple guys getting banged up, I felt that this was an opportunity for me to just go in there and just try to grab as many as I could,” Vander Plas said. “Especially try to get some offensive rebounds, keep possessions going.”

Ohio increases their win streak to four and remain perfect at home.

“I tell our guys all the time never get tired of preparing to win,” Boals said. “We just preach an everyday mentality. The next game is the biggest game.”

Ohio gets a week off before they come back to the Convocation Center to host the Purdue Boilermakers.