ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio men's basketball team (8-5) wrapped up non-conference play, falling to Campbell (9-3), 63-55, Sunday afternoon (Dec. 29) inside the Convocation Center.
"We knew coming in that it was going to be a grind out, low possession kind of game," first-year head coach Jeff Boals said. "When you play a low possession game, you have to make shots. If you don't make shots then you have to get offensive rebounds and try to find a way to score. We talked about the turnovers. We only had 13, but when you play a low possession game, that's a lot. I thought our defense was good. We just didn't make shots. I thought we got some good looks, especially in the first half."
Leading the way was sophomore guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) who finished the game with 19 points, going 4-of-10 from the field, 1-of-4 from three-point range and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Preston also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) finished with 16 points, going 6-of-13 from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds. Redshirt freshman forward Mason McMurray (Stow, Ohio) finished with seven points and five rebounds, while graduate transfer forward Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) finished with nine rebounds.
Overall, Ohio shot 36.5 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from three-point range and 65.0 percent from the free throw line, while Campbell shot 42.3 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the free throw line. Ohio out rebounded Campbell, 36-35, while Campbell scored 22 points off of 13 Ohio turnovers, while Ohio scored seven points off of 12 Camel turnovers.
For Campbell, Cedric Henderson scored 17 points, while Trey Spencer added 12 points and five rebounds. Cory Gensler and LaDarius Knight both added 10 points for the Camels.
The Bobcats opened the game with the first points off of a layup from Preston. Campbell tied the game at two, before Preston hit a free throw. After the Camels hit a three to take a two-point lead, Vander Plas drained a three of his own to put Ohio up 6-5 lead. Campbell then went on a 7-0 run to give the Camels a 12-6 lead before two free throws from Preston cut the lead back to four going into the media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Ogbonda cut the lead to 12-10 with a layup, however, Campbell went on a 10-0 run to take a 20-12 lead going into the under-eight media timeout.
Out of the timeout, a dunk from Vander Plas brought the score within six, however, Campbell went on to take a nine-point lead with 4:38 left in the half. However, a free throw from Vander Plas and back-to-back three pointers from McMurray and redshirt freshman forward Nate Springs (Charlotte, N.C.) brought the game to 24-22 in favor of the Camels with 2:39 left in the half.
Out of the final media timeout, the Bobcats tied the game at 24-24 with a layup from Preston, however, Campbell hit a three at the buzzer to take a 27-24 lead going into the half.
At the half, Ohio shoot 33 percent from the field, 33 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the free throw line, while Campbell shot 33 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the free throw line. Both teams recorded 18 rebounds, while Campbell dished out six assists to Ohio's five, while also recording five steals to the Bobcats' two. Campbell also forced seven Bobcat turnovers and scored 12 points off of them, while Ohio scored five points off of six Camel turnovers.
Leading the was at the half was Preston with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Vander Plas added six points, with McMurray and Springs both adding three points.
Ogbonda opened the half with a layup to cut the Campbell lead to one, a layup from Vander Plas gave the Bobcats the lead, however Campbell responded with a layup of their own to take a 29-28 lead. Vander Plas registered another layup moments later, giving Ohio a 30-29 lead going into the first media timeout of the half.
Out of the timeout, Campbell retook the lead, however a layup from Springs put the Bobcats back-up one. After Campbell went on to take a one-point lead, a three from Preston gave the Bobcats a two-point lead before the Camels tied the game at 35-35 going into the next media timeout.
Ohio and Campbell traded baskets out of the timeout, including back-to-back layups from McMurray. Campbell went on to take a three-point lead, but a second chance layup from Vander Plas with 6:16 left brought the Bobcats within one going into the under-eight timeout. Out of the timeout, back-to-back layups from Preston and Vander Plas gave the Bobcats a three-point lead with 4:57 left. Campbell went on a 9-2 run to give the Camels a 55-51 lead with 1:48 left in the game. Ultimately, Ohio was unable to mount a comeback, falling to the Camels, 63-55.
Up next, Ohio heads to Kalamazoo, Mich. on Saturday, Jan. 4 to take on Western Michigan for the start of Mid-American Conference play. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.