[Ayden Crowley | WOUB]

Vander Plas, Schmock lead Ohio Men’s Basketball past Central Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Jason Preston, DJ Cooper and, after Tuesday night, Ben Vander Plas joined the pair as the only players in Ohio men’s basketball history to record triple doubles.

Vander Plas and Co. propelled Ohio (23-5, 14-3 MAC) to a dominant win against a Central Michigan team (6-19, 5-9 MAC), which has now lost six out of its last seven games. Although the Chippewas continued to score points, the Bobcats seemed invincible and cruised to a 76-50 win.  

Not only did fan favorite Ben Vander Plas join an exclusive pair of Bobcats, but senior graduate transfer Tommy Schmock set a career-high in points. The elusive “3 and D” guard dropped 23 points while shooting 7-14 from three.

“I don’t care. I’m just going to keep shooting it. Good shooters shoot,” Schmock said.

In four out of the last six games, Schmock scored 16 or more points, which is a huge boost for the Bobcats as they head into the final stretch of the season. The Findlay transfer felt confident shooting and even drained a few shots from near half court.  

Ohio's Ben Vander Plas, left, and former Bobcat Jason Preston, right, talk following the Bobcats' game against Central Michigan on February 22, 2022.
Ohio’s Ben Vander Plas and former Bobcat Jason Preston talk courtside after Ohio’s game against Central Michigan on Feb. 22, 2022.

Ohio had a special guest in The Convo for Tuesday night’s contest: current NBA player and former Bobcat point guard Jason Preston. Preston led Ohio to a MAC championship as the fifth seed and to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. Preston’s story gained national attention and with the 33rd pick in the 2021 NBA draft the Los Angeles Clippers selected him. It just felt right BVP registered a triple-double in the presence of his friend and former roommate Preston.  

Ben Vander Plas has been a part of Ohio men’s basketball since the 2017-2018 season and his devotion to the team is unparalleled. On the court he is a workhorse, constantly grinding on both ends of the floor as he did tonight. BVP uses his 6’8″ frame to walk down smaller defenders yet can hold his own against defenders much bigger than him. A player with great vision and a very consistent deep shot, Vander Plas has been an enormous reason why the team is 23-5 and competing for back to back NCAA tournament appearances.  

Coming off an embarrassing loss at Kent State, Ohio needed a statement win to stay in the hunt for the number one seed for the MAC tournament. Judging by the first 15 minutes it looked as if the game would be a slugfest, with both teams shooting unimpressive and turning the ball over far too much. At one point just after the seven minute mark Central Michigan had nine offensive rebounds, yet were still down by three. Ohio had enough of the bottom tier Chippewas and suddenly turned on a burst within the last 5 minutes and went into halftime up 11.  

The second half looked like a completely different Ohio team. They went on a 11-2 run within the first four minutes and never looked back. Tommy Schmock started to heat up and knock down threes from seemingly impossible areas while Ben Vander Plas cleaned up the boards. Ben Roderick, although going 0-3 from 3, scored double digit points (10) for the first time in the last five games. At one point in the game Ohio was up by 32 and ended up winning by 26.  

Ohio hits the court at The Convo one last time this Friday against Akron.

Akron is 18-9 overall and 11-6 in MAC play, so conquering the Zips will not be easy. Tip-off for the last home regular season game is set for 6 p.m.