Ohio Men's Basketball Delivers Senior Night Victory Over Bowling Green

Ohio Men's Basketball Delivers Senior Night Victory Over Bowling Green


By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (13-16, 6-11 MAC) senior guards Antonio Bisutti (Dublin, Ohio) and Mike Laster (Detroit, Mich.), senior forward Sam Frayer (Cincinnati, Ohio) and graduate forward out in style in their final home game at the Convocation Center, earning a 75-59 Senior Night win over Mid-American Conference East Division rival Bowling Green (16-14, 7-10 MAC) on Tuesday (Feb. 27).

"It's a pretty deep moment. It got to me a little bit, I'll say that," said Laster of Senior Night.

The Bobcats won for the third time in their last four games and defeated the Falcons at the Convo for the second year in a row. Ohio avenged a 66-50 loss to Bowling Green in the first meeting of the year between the two squads on Jan. 30 at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.

All five Ohio starters finished in double figures in points. In his final home game as a Bobcat, Laster tied for the team lead with 16 points to finish in double figures for the 21st time this year and distributed a career-high seven assists. He also tallied four rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. Freshman guard Teyvion Kirk went 5-of-12 from the field with three three-pointers and made three of his four free throw attempts to match Laster for the team lead with 16 points. He has now finished in double figures in points a team-high 27 times this season -- including each of the last 21 contests. Kirk also grabbed a team-high eight boards, handed out four assists and tallied a steal over 34 minutes of work. Junior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) finished with 14 points off of 7-of-10 shooting, marking the seveth time this year he has finished in double figures -- including each of the last three games. He also blocked three shots, bringing his season total to 58, which ranks as the 10th-most in a single season in program history, in addition to posting six rebounds over 27 minutes of work. Junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) made four of his eight shots -- including three treys -- en route to an 11-point effort. He has now finished in double figures 16 times this season. Dartis also recorded five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 29 minutes. Redshirt sophomore guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.) finished with 10 points after going 4-of-9 from the floor with a pair of triples, marking the sixth time in the last eight games he has finished in double figures and ninth time this season. He also grabbed six rebounds and had a steal in 35 minutes.

"The stat line that really jumps out to me tonight is Mike Laster's seven assists and one turnover," said fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips, who earned his 200th career coaching win. Passing hasn't been his forte since he got here, but he has been one of the most unselfish players that I've ever been around. Goes out helping his teammates win a game. That's pretty neat. We've now won three of four. We're playing some of our best basketball of the season at a good time, and our confidence is high right now."

Junior forward Demajeo Wiggins achieved a double-double to lead Bowling Green, scoring a game-high 18 points and hauling in a game-high 15 rebounds over 30 minutes of work. He went 7-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He also tallied two blocks and an assist. Redshirt freshman guard Justin Turner also finished in double figures for the Falcons, scoring 14 points. He also chipped in four rebounds, three steals and an assist over 37 minutes of action.

The Bobcats and the Falcons went back-and-forth over the first five-plus minutes of the contest. Wiggins made a layup to put the Falcons up 8-6, but Taylor countered on Ohio's next trip down the court with his second dunk of the game off an assist from Kirk, and the Bobcats led the rest of the way. Another dunk by Taylor put the Bobcats up by double digits with just under 10 minutes left in the half. Ohio's lead swelled to a game-high 20 points at 37-17 with three minutes remaining in the first half when Kirk made a layup, then knocked down a three on the Bobcats' next possession.

Taylor finished with 10 points to match Kirk for the half high over the opening 20 minutes of play.

"When you move the ball well, eventually someone is going to be open. With me down in the paint, it's easier for me to get more touches. I can just easily stack up a couple points when he stacks up a couple assists off of dribble penetration."

Ohio maintained a double digit lead throughout the second half, never letting the Falcons get their deficit under 10 points. A dunk and a layup by Wiggins less than two minutes into the second half helped make it a 10-point game, but Gollon drilled a three to calm the waters. A three-pointer by Dartis gave Ohio an 18-point lead at 56-38 with just under 13 minutes to play.

Bowling Green outscored Ohio by a 15-7 count over the next eight-plus minutes to make it a 10-point game again at 63-53 with 4:34 remaining. That's as close as the Bobcats let the Falcons get, though, as Kirk scored seven of Ohio's final 12 points to put the game away.

Ohio closes out the 2017-18 regular season with a trip to Oxford, Ohio, for the second round of this year's 'Battle of the Bricks' series against MAC East Division archrival Miami (15-15, 8-9 MAC) on Friday (March 2) at Millett Hall. The opening tip is schedule for 7 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Ohio is fighting for seeding in next week's 2018 MAC Tournament. The Bobcats are currently 10th of 12 teams in the overall standings. Ohio can finish no higher than the No. 9 seed and is guaranteed of playing a first-round game on the road next Monday (March 5).