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Ohio Men's Basketball Opens MAC Play at Western Michigan on Saturday

Ohio Men's Basketball Opens MAC Play at Western Michigan on Saturday

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2019-20 • GAME 14
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2019 | 4 p.m. EST | Ohio (8-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-6) | Read Fieldhouse | Kalamazoo, Mich. | ESPN3 | Live Stats | Listen | Ohio Notes | WMU Notes 

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (8-5) begins Mid-American Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 4 when the Bobcats head to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan (7-6). Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. inside Read Fieldhouse. 

Saturday's game can be seen on ESPN3 where Conor Clingen, Austin Richie and Samantha Mattlin will have the call. Saturday's game can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College where Marty Bannister will have the call. 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.

STORYLINES
• This is the 134th all-time meeting between Ohio and Western Michigan. 
• Ohio leads the all-time series, 68-65
• The Bobcats and WMU last met last season on Jan. 22, 2019 where Ohio defeated the Broncos, 81-76.   
•  Sophomore guard Jason Preston is currently fifth in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game. 
• Ohio is coming off of 63-55 loss against Campbell on Dec. 29 in Athens. 
• Ohio has a 512-456 all-time record in MAC Play. 
• Ohio has not won a MAC opener since Jan. 3, 2017 when Ohio defeated WMU, 89-58 in Athens. 

SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN
WMU enters the matchup with the Bobcats with a 7-6 record and are coming off of a 95-62 loss at Michigan State on Dec. 29.

Overall, Western Michigan averages 72.5 points per game, while shooting 41.6 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the free throw line. The Broncos also average 35.2 rebounds, 11.6 assists, 5.7 steals, 2.0 blocks and 11.5 turnovers per game. 

Opponents are averaging 73.0 points and 38.4 rebounds a game, while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 32.3 percent from three-point range and 68.5 percent from the free throw line. Opponents average 11.7 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. 

Individually, Michael Flowers leads the Broncos with 17.1 points per game, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three-point range. Brandon Johnson adds 14.6 points a game, while grabbing a team-leading 8.7 rebounds a contest. Johnson also shoots 44.7 percent from the field. 

SCOUTING OHIO
The Bobcats are 8-5 on the season after falling to Campbell, 63-55 on Dec. 29. 

Overall this season, the Bobcats are averaging 71.7 points, 34.5 rebounds, 15.9 assists and 6.6 steals per game. The Bobcats are shooting .466 from the field, .354 from three-point range and .684 from the free throw line. 

Ohio is holding opponents to 66.6 points, 32.3 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 6.1 steals per game. Opponents are also shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from three-point range and 78.2 percent from the free throw line. 

Ohio is averaging 13.3 turnovers per game, while forcing opponents to turn the ball over 13.2 times a game.  

Jason Preston leads the Bobcats with 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. Jordan Dartis adds 14.3 points per game and is shooting 39.5 percent from the field, while Ben Vander Plas averages 13.8 points per game and 6.6 rebounds, while shooting 54.0 percent from the field. 

ALL TIME VS. WMU
This is the 134th all-time meeting between Ohio and Western Michigan. 

Ohio leads the all-time series, 68-65

LAST TIME VS. WMU
The Bobcats and WMU last met last season on Jan. 22, 2019 where Ohio defeated the Broncos, 81-76.   

THE JAY PRESTON SHOW
Through 13 games, point guard Jason Preston is on fire.

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 has eight against St. Bonaventure. 

Preston was masterful on Nov. 13 at Iona. Scoring a career high 27 points, going 10-of-17 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He also grabbed a team-leading and career-high 14 rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals. 

So far this season, Preston is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free throw line. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 18 for his play the week of Nov. 11. 

On Nov. 22 against Utah, Preston score 21 points, going 8-of-16 from the field, while dishing out four assists. 

On Nov. 30 against Detroit Mercy, Preston finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists. 

On Dec. 8 against Tennessee Tech, Preston finished the day with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season on Dec 9. 

Preston was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the third time this season on Dec 30. 

OHIO IN THE NCAA
Jason Preston is currently fifth in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game. Preston is also ranked 11th in minutes per game and 35th in double doubles. 

Jordan Dartis enters the week ranked 25th in nation in three-point field goals per game. 

As a team, Ohio ranks 57th in total assists, 47th in assists per games and 58th in assist/turnover ratio. 

IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are first in field goal percentage and rebounding defense and second in total assists. 

Jason Preston in first in the conference in assists and in minutes played. He is also sixth in the conference in scoring and fifth in steals. 

Jordan Dartis is second in the conference in three-pointers made.  Ben Vander Plas ranks fifth in the MAC in field goal percentage. 

BVP BACK FOR ROUND TWO
13 games into the season and redshirt sophomore forwards Ben Vander Plas is picking up where he left off last season. 

Vander Plas is averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Vander Plas is also shooting 54.0 percent from the field. 

On Nov. 16 at No. 10 Villanova, Vander Plas led Ohio with his first double double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 boards. 

On Dec. 8 against Tennessee Tech, Vander Plas led the way with 21 points, going 8-of-16 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point range, while grabbing 11 rebounds, dishing out four assists and grabbing four steals. 

Vander Plas was named the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week on Dec. 12. 

On Dec. 21 against Morehead State, Vander Plas was clutch, tying his career-high with 24 points while also recording 11 rebounds in the victory. 

MAC EAST POW
On Dec. 30, Jason Preston was named the Mid-American Conference East Player of the Week for his performance the week of Dec. 23.

Preston once again led the Bobcats during their final non-conference game on Dec. 29. Preston scored 19 points, going 4-of-10 from the field, 1-of-4 from three-point range and was 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Preston also grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals in the Bobcats game against Campbell.

UP NEXT
The Bobcats return to Athens on Tuesday, Jan. 7 when the Bobcats host Eastern Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. 

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