(PHOTO: Nick Viland/WOUB)

Ohio Men’s Basketball: Bobcats roll past Western Michigan; over .500 in MAC play for first time since 2016-17

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – On Tuesday, the Ohio Bobcats faced the Western Michigan Broncos at the Convocation Center with the goal of having a winning MAC record.

The Bobcats’ energy and strength in the second half allowed them to do what they haven’t done in four years. Which is a winning conference record.  Ohio (9-6, 5-4 MAC) defeated Western Michigan (2-10, 1-8) with a score of 81-56.

The beginning of this MAC matchup started off with the Broncos dominating the court by hitting seven consecutive shots, with the Bobcats trailing behind.

Midway into the first half, the pace of game started to change in Ohio’s favor as the Bobcats were able to maintain an aggressive and strong offense, which resulted in the Bobcats leading at halftime with a score of 43-31.

“I think the end of the first half was huge,” Ohio head coach Jeff Boals said.  “Going from five to 12 (points), we had great momentum.”

Going into the second half, the Bobcats came out looking like a whole new team. Their defense was aggressive, and their offense was fast.

“We talked at halftime about coming out with more of a sense of urgency. Then I thought our defense sort of became our offense and we were able to push it from 12 to 20 (points),” Boals said.

Coming off the bench, Mark Sears scored a career-high 21 points for Ohio.  Dwight Wilson lll also had a solid game as he tallied a total of 19 points.  Additionally, Ben Vander Plas and Lunden McDay each reached double figures with 11 points each.

Ohio Men's Basketball Dwight Wilson II
Ohio’s Dwight Wilson III celebrates after a big play against Western Michigan on Jan. 26, 2021. (Nick Viland/WOUB)

Later in the second half, Ohio decided to change things up and played a few of its role players, which helped contribute to a big win for the Bobcats.

Ohio’s record in the MAC improved to 5-4, which is the first time since the 2016-2017 season that the Bobcats have a winning conference record.

Ohio hopes to expand its conference winning streak as the Bobcats travel to Buffalo (6-5, 4-3) on Friday.