ATHENS, Ohio -- The 2019-20 home schedule officially begins on Saturday, Nov. 9 when the Bobcats host Heidelberg. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. Saturday's contest will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with Marty Bannister and Toni Roesch on the call.
Saturday's game can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats," along with Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship. The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app.
- This is the ninth all-time meeting between the Bobcats and Heidelberg, with the Bobcats holding the all-time series lead, 6-2.
- Ohio and Heidelberg last met in the regular season on Nov. 23, 2013. The Bobcats won the matchup, 85-57.
- Ohio has won its last 15 home openers.
- Ohio has registered an impressive 509-167 (.756) all-time record at the Convocation Center, which opened in 1968.
Heidelberg welcome back several key contributors this season, at guard, 2019 All-OAC selection Dylan Woods is back to control the floor for Heidelberg. Woods averaged 13.2 points-per-game and 2.4 rebounds-per-contest, while passing out 76 total assists as a sophomore.
Senior Josh Dixon is returning as well and will be a force to be reckoned with as he aims to improve his 9.3 PPG from a season ago. Dixon was an All-Tournament selection at the Defiance tournament a season ago as well.
Phariz Watkins chipped in 7.7 PPG and 3.0 RPG during his sophomore campaign and will see an expanded role this season. Sophomores Coby Kelly, Emmanuel Perdue and Curt Jacobs will be pushing for playing time at the guard position. The trio combined for 175 points and 52 assists as freshmen off the bench last season.
Alex Arellano will be the main big man this season. Last season, Arellano contributed 8.1 PPG and was a force on the boards with 4.7 RPG. Senior Prince Benson will also be returning to the floor this year after missing all of last season through injury.
OHIO HELPS BOALS EARN WIN #1
The Bobcats opened the 2019-20 season in dominating fashion on Nov. 5, defeating St. Bonaventure, 65-53, in the hostile environment of the Reilly Center.
The Bobcats took the lead with 17 minutes to go in the first half and never let it go.
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.
The win was the first for Boals at Ohio and it kept Ohio's 16-game season opener streak alive.
THE JAY PRESTON SHOW
Although it's only one game, point guard Jason Preston in the roll.
Preston scored 11 points, while setting a new career-high in assists (13) and steals (7) while playing all 40 minutes.
Preston's seven steals was the first 7+ steals game for a Bobcat since 2010 when D.J. Cooper had eight against St. Bonaventure.
JORDY'S BACK, TELL A FRIEND
Jordan Dartis made his return to the course on Nov. 5 against St. Bonaventure. The game marked his first season game on the court since March 5, 2018.
In the game, Dartis scored 19 points, hitting three threes and going 7-of-15 from the field.
Ohio saw four Bobcats make their debut on the Green and White on Nov. 5 at St. Bonaventure.
Nolan Foster saw the floor for the first time as well, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds in 15 minutes in the victory.
JEFF BOALS ERA BEGINS
Jeff Boals returns to Athens for his first season as the leader of the Bobcats. Boals, a 1995 graduate, led the bobcats to a 25-8 overall season and won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship with a 14-4 mark in league play in 1994. The Bobcats capped off a MAC Tournament run with an 89-66 win over archrival Miami in the title game to send Ohio to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years.
Boals spent the previous three seasons (2016-19) as the head coach at Stony Brook. He guided the Seawolves to an overall record of 55-41 – including a 31-17 mark in America East Conference play. Stony Brook has gone 24-8 (12-4 AEC) in 2018-19 and made its second postseason appearance in the last three. The Seawolves received an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament in 2017. Stony Brook placed five student-athletes on the America East's All-Conference Teams in 2018-19, with sophomore center Jeff Otchere being named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt sophomore guard/forward Andrew Garcia being tabbed as Sixth Man of the Year.
Ohio hits the road on Tuesday, Nov. 12 when it heads to New Rochelle, N.Y. to take on Iona. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.