[Ayden Crowley | WOUB]

Four Bobcats reach double figures as Ohio Men’s Basketball coasts past Eastern Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Ohio Bobcats (18-3, 9-1 MAC) added on to their winning streak by defeating the Eastern Michigan Eagles (8-13, 3-7 MAC) 81-68 in the Convocation Center Tuesday afternoon.

The game tested Ohio’s stamina with it being their second game in less than 48 hours.  The original tipoff time between the Bobcats and Eagles was set for 7 p.m. but was moved up to 2 p.m. because of inclement winter weather in the forecast.

Ohio held a strong performance starting off with a quick lead with four players scoring in double digits including Mark Sears (20 points), Ben Roderick (19 points), Jason Carter (17 points) and Ben Vander Plas (15 points). Roderick had one of his best games on the hardwood this season.

Ohio's Ben Roderick (3) drives to the basket in the Bobcats' game against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 3, 2022.
Ohio’s Ben Roderick (3) drives to the basket in the Bobcats’ game against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 3, 2022.

“We always talk about getting off to a great start, and not giving them confidence early, when a team gains confidence it ends up in a dog fight,” Ohio head coach Jeff Boals said. “Making shots makes the game a lot easier for B-Rod, hats off to him. Coming back from his injury, he looked like the old B-Rod, and he gives us a completely different presence when he does that driving the basketball.”

Roderick’s engines turned on in the second half. After scoring only four points in the first half, he put up a whopping 15 points in the second. His offensive performance was consistent as he was 8-of-10 in field goals and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

“It felt good to see the ball go in the hoop, you know, and take this game and run with it,” Roderick said. “One thing that stuck out to me was Coach Barlow said to always expect the ball to go in. That’s what I did, and the ball went in and that’s a great feeling.”

Along with Roderick, reigning MAC Player of the Week Mark Sears had a solid game of his own on both sides of the court, leading the way with 20 points.

Overall Ohio finished the game shooting 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field and topped it off with 12 three pointers. Ohio’s defense forced 18 turnovers and turned them into 24 points on the offensive end.

“I thought they came out with a great mindset,” Boals said. “Their focus, the preparation coming into the game, shooting around today, and their start in both halves were great.”

Ohio continues its busy week Saturday as it welcomes in Western Michigan for a 2 p.m. tipoff.