Ohio Men’s Basketball Hits the Road for In-State Matchup with Xavier

Ohio Men’s Basketball Hits the Road for In-State Matchup with Xavier


WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5, 2018
6:30 p.m. | Ohio (5-2) vs. Xavier (5-3) | Cintas Center | Cincinnati, Ohio |FS1| Live Stats Listen | Ohio Notes Xavier Notes

ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio men's basketball team (5-2) returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 5 with the Bobcats head to Cincinnati, Ohio to face off with Big East opponent, Xavier (5-3). Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. inside the Cintas Center. 

Wednesday's game will be shown on FS1 with Vine Welch and Nick Bahe on the call. The contest will also be broadcast on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Radio pregame coverage is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET with 'Countdown To Tipoff.'

Xavier enters the game with an overall record of 5-3, falling to Wisconsin, Auburn and San Diego St., while defeating IUPUI, Evansville, Illinois, Miami and Oakland.

Naji Marshall leads Xavier, averaging 13.1 points per game and 7.0 rebounds. She has also dished out 28 assists and has 10 steals in 33.1 minutes on the floor. Next is Quentin Goodin, who averages 12.3 points per game and 30 assists. Meanwhile, Paul Scruggs is averaging 11.8 points per game and is shooting 41.4 percent from the field. Tyrique Jones leads Xavier with 9.3 rebounds per game, while also averaging 10.9 points per game. 

As a team, Xavier averages 79.0 points per game and is shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from three-point range and 67.3 percent from the free throw line. The Musketeers also average 38.1 rebounds per game, while also recording an average of 14.0 assists, 6.9 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. The Xavier defense holds opponents to 73.8 points per game and forces 12.1 turnovers a contest. 

Xavier is coming off as a 73-63 victory over Oakland on Dec. 1 inside the Cintas Center. 

Six Musketeers scored in double figures, led by sophomore Naji Marshall with 14 points. Junior Tyrique Jones added his third double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the victory, including five offensive rebounds. Zach Hankins, Ryan Welage, Kyle Castlin and Paul Scruggs also scored in double figures.

Overall, Xavier shot 45.5 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from three-point range and 82.6 percent from the free throw line. Xavier outrebounded Oakland 38-28 and dished out 12 assists and grabbed nine steals. 

This is the 35th all-time meeting between the Bobcats and Xavier, with Ohio leading the all-time series, 20-14.  

Then ninth-ranked Xavier won the last meeting between the two team, a 78-65 affair in Cincinnati on Dec. 10, 2008. However, the Bobcats won the meeting prior to that on Dec. 9, 1995, downing Xavier 103-72 in Athens. 

Ohio and Xavier last met on Dec. 10, 2008 when the Musketeers were then ranked ninth in the nation. 

Senior forward Jerome Tillman scored 16 points and sophomore guard Tommy Freeman added 15 points. Ohio shot 40 percent (8-of-20) from three-point distance and recorded 14 assists on 20 total field goals, but saw XU post a 52.2 percent field goal percentage en route to claiming the first meeting between the two teams since the 1995-96 campaign.

Tillman drained 5-of-12 shots from the floor to finish with a team-high 16 points, his eighth double-figure performance in as many outings this season. He also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds on the evening, while adding two blocks and a pair of steals.

Sophomore forward DeVaughn Washington was also active on both ends of the court on Wednesday, establishing career highs with five rebounds and four assists. He also added two points, a block and a career high-tying two steals in a personal-best 28 minutes of action.

The catalyst for Ohio's solid performance from beyond the arc came in the form of sophomore guard Tommy Freeman who sank 4-of-8 attempts en route to 15 points on the night. The output was the highest for Freeman, who also tied his career high with three rebounds. Senior forward Justin Orr was also hot from long distance on Wednesday, hitting both of his trifecta attempts and finishing with eight points.

The Bobcats had their shooting stroke working in the first half, connecting on a season first-half high 43.5 percent (10-of-23) of their attempts, including a 57.1 percent (4-of-7) mark from beyond the arc. Tillman knocked down 4-of-8 shots from the field en route to a team-high 10 points in the opening period, while Coleman chipped in with five on 40.0 percent (2-of-5) shooting.

The Bobcats are coming off of a commanding 101-84 victory over Marshall on Dec. 1 inside the Convocation Center. 

Jason Carter, in his double-double performance, went 9-of-17 from the field as well as 6-of-9 from the free-throw line while compiling a game-high 12 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 29 minutes of play. Following closely behind was senior guard Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) and redshirt freshman forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) both with 18 points for the Bobcats. Block shot 6-of-9 from the field – including 6-of-7 from the three-point line and added two assists in his 26 minutes of play. Vander Plas shot 7-of-13 from the field and added five rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes of play. Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) compiled 17 points and added eight rebounds, a game-high five assists, and a game-high three steals in 33 minutes of work for Ohio. Junior guard Antonio Cowart, Jr. (McComb, Miss.) barely missed a double-double, recording eight points and nine rebounds for Ohio in his 33 minutes of play. Senior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio), added nine points, seven rebounds and a game-high two blocks in 20 minutes of play for the Bobcats. 

Ohio finished the game with a 51.4 percent (36-of-70) field goal percentage and 49 total rebounds compared to Marshall who finished the game with a 44.1 percent (30-of-68) field goal percentage and 29 total rebounds. Ohio registered 18 total assists to Marshall's' 11 and racked 52 points in the paint compared to 40 for the Herd. 

Jon Elmore finished with a game-high 26 points over 39 minutes to lead Marshall in scoring, while also compiling a team-high four rebounds and a team-high five assists. C.J. Burks finished closely behind with 22 points, a team-high four rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes of play. Taevion Kinsey and Jannson Williams both added eight points for Marshall.

The Bobcats enter the matchup with Xavier with an overall record of 5-2. 

Seven games into the season, Ohio is averaging 79.3 points per game. They are shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from three-point range and 68.3 from the free throw line. The Bobcats are also averaging 44.9 rebounds a contest to go along with 16.9 assists, 8.3 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. 

Individually, Jason Carter is averaging 19.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 71.2 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Teyvion Kirk is adding 16.3 points per game 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. 

Vander Plas is averaging 12.4 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 49.2 from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc. 

Doug Taylor is leading the Bobcats with 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, while Gavin Block is now shooting a team-leading 43.8 percent from beyond the arc. 

In the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats currently rank second in rebounding offense (44.9), second in rebounding margin (+11.1), second in offensive rebounds (14.3), second in defensive rebounds (30.6) and first in defensive rebounding percentage (.796). 

Ohio is also third in offensive rebounding percentage (.356), second in steals (8.3) and fourth in blocked shots (4.4) and assists (16.4). 

Individually, Carter is currently leading the MAC in scoring (19.6) and tied for eighth in rebounds (8.0), while Taylor is seventh in rebounding (8.3).

Kirk is tied for third in steals (2.0), while Taylor is second in blocked shots (2.1) and fifth in offensive rebounds (3.3). Cater sits 10th in offensive rebounds (2.7), while Kirk is sixth in minutes played (31.7) and Block is 10 in three-point field goals made (2.2). 

Jason Carter was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 3 for his performance the week of Nov. 26. 

The Bobcats have already reached the 90-point mark in 2018-19.  Ohio is 15-2 when scoring at least 90 points under Phillips.

In 2017-18 Ohio scored at least 90 points six times. 

The Bobcats reached the 100-point mark on Dec. 1 against Marshall, when Ohio won the game, 101-84. 

It was the first time since Feb. 27, 2016 (Buffalo), that the Bobcats have scored at least 100 points in a game. 

Ohio announced on Dec. 3, 2018 - the 50th anniversary of the first game inside the Convocation Center - the plans for a 50th anniversary celebration for the Convo. 

Ohio Athletics will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Convocation Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 with a Sibs Weekend basketball doubleheader as the women's team battles Ball State at 1 p.m. ET and the men's team takes on Akron at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the doubleheader are $5 and include admission to both games. 

The gameday atmosphere surrounding the doubleheader will have a throwback feel to it. Celebration elements are set to include:

• Men's team wearing 1968 throwback uniforms

• Women's team wearing 1980s throwback uniforms

• Cheer and dance teams and Rufus the Bobcat in retro gear

• Retro Ohio "Attack Cat" logo displayed on the court

• Retro music playlist

• Commemorative 50th anniversary posters for the first 2,000 fans in attendance

• Men's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd

• Women's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd

• Internationally known entertainer, Red Panda, to perform at halftime of the men's basketball game

The Bobcats return to Athens this weekend, Saturday, Dec. 8, when Ohio hosts Radford. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. inside the Convocation Center and will follow the women's basketball game against Coppin State, which will begin at 1 p.m.