[Ayden Crowley | WOUB]

AJ Brown scores 28 points in Ohio’s 90-70 MAC Tournament Quarterfinal victory over Ball State

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio’s offense exploded in its 90-70 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Tournament Quarterfinals. 

The Cardinals came out aggressive and took a 10-4 lead. The Bobcats were quiet early, but that was until a 7-0 run, starting with a three from Brown, that allowed Ohio to take its first lead of the game, 16-14. 

“I think it was jitters,” Dwight Wilson III said. “You know a lot of people on this team hadn’t been in that position before. I just kept telling everybody like you know the first wars over you know we settled down, let’s play our ball.”

Elmore James takes a shot against Ball State
Elmore James takes a shot against Ball State [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
Ohio did just that. It took advantage of second chance opportunities from Ball State and turned them into baskets. Brown lit up with 17 points in the first half and was a big part of the momentum shift for Ohio. He finished with a career-high 28 points and was unstoppable. 

“Especially after that step-back three, I knew it was going to be a great day,” Brown said. “I was just feeling it and my teammates found me, and I let it fly, and it kept falling.” 

“His attitude has been unbelievable,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “At some point we knew he was going to do this and he’s going to be a great player for us.”

Once the Bobcats found their grove, they couldn’t be stopped. Their offense was big as they pulled away to a 54-32 lead going into the half.

Ohio continued its spark as it opened up the second half with a 6-0 run and complete domination on defense. Ball State couldn’t get anything going as Ohio pulled away to a big victory. 

The Bobcats finished with 10 steals, which played a key part in both their aggressiveness and what they were able to do on offense.

Jaylin Hunter points to the bench against Ball State
Jaylin Hunter points to the bench against Ball State [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
“Keep them having to work for shots you know cause ultimately that’s what wore them down,” Wilson said. “Having to run back on defense and then having to work on offense like that. I think it just goes back to wearing them down with our activity and it led to our offense, we were able to get some easy buckets in transitions.”

Ohio moves on to face No. 1 Toledo in the MAC Tournament Semifinals on Friday at 5:00 p.m.