ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Ohio men's basketball (1-0) head coach Jeff Boals picked up his first victory as a Bobcat Tuesday evening (Nov. 5), as Ohio defeated St. Bonaventure (0-1) inside the Reilly Center.
"I'm really proud of our guys," Boals said. "Number one, what a great atmosphere tonight. We tried to crank the noise the last couple days in practice. We had crowd noise. The fight song going. But we didn't do that justice. I have a ton of respect for Coach Schmidt. I worked for him for two years at Robert Morris and it's never easy going against one of your friends. But, i'm really proud of our guys and the effort level we played with for 40 minutes. We're down four scholarship kids and only have eight scholarship kids right now. We knew coming in that to give us any chance we had to compete for 40 minutes and play harder. I thought our guys did a good job of that."
Redshirt senior Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) finished the game with 19 points in his first official game back after missing last season with an injury, going 7-of-15 from the field, 3-of-9 from three-point range and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Sophomore Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) finished the game with 11 points and a career-high 13 assists in 40 minutes on the floor. Redshirt freshman Nate Springs (Charlotte, N.C.) finished with nine points, going 3-of-4 from three-point range. Graduate transfer Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) finished with a team-high seven rebounds.
St. Bonaventure opened the game with the first bucket of the game, however Dartis got it right back, draining his first three-pointer of the game with 17:32 left in the half. After St. Bonaventure retook the lead at the 17:07 mark, a three from Ogbonda gave Ohio a 6-4 lead.
After another SBU jumper, Dartis' second three of the game up the Bobcats up five out of the media timeout. Dartis added his fifth-straight point at the 13:56 mark, extending the Ohio lead to 13-6. A three from Springs and a jumper from Preston with 11:35 left, pushed the Bobcats ahead 18-10, their largest lead of the game.
A 6-0 run from the Bonnies cut the Ohio lead to 18-16, however redshirt sophomore Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) drained his first three of the game to put Ohio back up by five going into the under-eight media timeout.
Both offense were on fire over the remaining eight minutes of the half, with the Bonnies cutting the Ohio lead to two with 4:23 left in the half. However, another three from Springs and a layup from freshman Nolan Foster (Mattawan, Mich.) gave Ohio a 30-23 lead with 1:24 left in the half.
St. Bonaventure cut the lead to 30-25 with 30 seconds to go, however, a jumper from Preston as time expired gave Ohio the 32-25 lead going into the half.
At the half, Ohio shot 52.2 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from three-point range and 52.2 percent from the free throw line, while St. Bonaventure shot 35.7 percent from the field, 12.5 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free throw line. Ohio was outrebounded 10-12, however they dished out nine assists compared to SBU's seven. The Bobcats also forced eight turnovers and scored 10 points off of them.
Individually, Dartis led Ohio with 10 points, going 2-of-5 from three-point range, while Preston added six points and added seven assists. Springs also added six points for the Bobcats.
After Ohio hit a free throw to open the half, St. Bonaventure went on a 6-0 run to cut the Ohio lead to 33-31, forcing a Bobcat timeout.
After the timeout, Ohio stoped the run, getting back-to-back layups from freshman Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) and Ogbonda to give the Bobcats a 37-31 lead with 15:59 left in the game. The Bobcats continued the run with Springs draining his third three of the game and Preston hitting a jumper, giving Ohio a 42-31 lead with 14:06 left and forcing a St. Bonaventure timeout.
St. Bonaventure stopped the 9-0 Bobcat run with a three, however, Dartis followed it up with a layup as the shot clock was winding down. After a Foster layup gave Ohio a 10-point lead, a bucket from St. Bonaventure cut the Ohio lead to 46-38 with 10:16 left in the game.
Out of the media timeout, the Bonnies would bring the game within six points, however, back-to-back layups from Dartis and Preston gave the Bobcats another 10-point lead with going into the under-eight media timeout.
After a 4-0 run from St. Bonaventure cut the Ohio lead to six, a three from Dartis and another Ohio layup gave Ohio a 55-44 lead, forcing a St. Bonaventure timeout.
After the timeout, St. Bonaventure cut the Ohio lead to nine with six minutes left in the game, however, Ohio didn't let up and went up 15 on a free throw with 3:20 left in the game to go up 62-47.
Both teams kept fighting, however, the Bonnies were unable to put together a run over the final three minutes, helping Ohio seal the Bobcats' 65-53 lead.
Overall, the Bobcats shot 47.1 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three-point range and 56.3 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure shot 36.4 percent from the field, 15.8 percent from three-point line and 66.7 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats were outrebounded 37-30, while Ohio dished out 17 assists to the Bonnies 11, while they also registered 10 steals to SBU's four.
Up next, Ohio returns to the Convocation Center on Saturday, Nov. 9 when the Bobcats host Heidelberg for their 2019-20 home opener. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.