ATHENS, Ohio – Despite a career day from redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas, the Ohio men's basketball team (9-7, 1-2 MAC) fell to Mid-American Conference East foe Bowling Green (11-5, 2-1 MAC), 83-74, Saturday afternoon (Jan. 11) inside the Convocation Center.
"It was a tale of two halves," first-year head coach Jeff Boals said. "In the first half, we were able to do what we wanted offensively, and in the second half, they did whatever they wanted offensively. In a game like this, it comes down to getting stops. At halftime, we wrote on the board, 0-0. We weren't plus-10 and the team that defended and rebounded was going to win the game. That was obviously them in the second half. I thought the tone of the second half was set in the first four minutes. They came out and just punched us in the mouth and did what they wanted to and the next thing you knew it was 48-45 and that's when we called the timeout. When you give a team like that momentum, it's tough to curb that. Then down the stretch we could not get the stop that we needed and kept trading baskets with them. When we did get the stop, we either fouled them or didn't get the defensive rebound. That's what you have to do in this league. You have to get stops."
Vander Plas finished the day with a career-high 25 points, going 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range, while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 15 points, going 5-of-14 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He also dished out five assists. Redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio), wrapped up the game with 12 points, while graduate transfer forward Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) finished with 11 points, going 6-of-7 from the free throw line, while grabbing five boards.
Overall, Ohio shot 46.4 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line, while Bowling Green finished the game 50 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 61.9 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats were out-rebounded 37-31 and the Falcons dished out 12 assists to the Bobcats' nine.
For the Falcons, Justin Turner finished the game with 29 points, while Dylan Frye finished with 19 points and five assists.
The Bobcats opened the game on fire from beyond the arc, with Vander Plas draining his first three of the game seconds in. After Bowling Green matched it with a layup, Preston registered a layup of his own, followed by threes from Vander Plas and Dartis helping give the Bobcats a 11-4 lead going into the first media timeout.
The Falcons cut the Ohio lead to three after back-to-back jumpers out of the timeout. However, the Bobcats continued to knock them down from three, with Dartis, Ogbonda and Vander Plas all hitting a triple to put the Bobcats up 20-12 entering the under-12 media timeout. After Bowling Green recorded the first two points out of the timeout, freshman forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) hit his first three of the game, followed by another triple from Vander Plas to give Ohio a 14-point lead. The Falcons matched with a three of their own and followed it up with another layup, cutting the Ohio lead to 28-19 entering the under-eight media timeout.
After the Falcons hit a jumper out of the timeout, freshman guard Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) matched it with a jumper of his own. Vander Plas then continued to lead the Bobcats, recording a layup down low and then banked in his fifth three of the game, giving the Bobcats an 11-point lead entering the final media timeout of the half.
Out of the timeout, the Falcons cut the Ohio lead to seven, however a put-back basket from redshirt freshman forward Nate Springs (Charlotte, N.C.), a layup from Vander Plas and a jumper from freshman guard Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) gave Ohio a 13-point lead. After a layup and a free throw from the Falcons at the end of the half, the Bobcats took a 43-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
At the half, the Bobcats shot 59 percent from the field, 60 percent from three-point range and were 2-for-2 from the free throw line, while Bowling Green shot 45 percent from the field, 13 percent from three-point range and were 2-of-7 from the free throw line. Ohio out-rebounded the Falcons, 16-15, while Ohio dished out seven assists to BGSU's five.
Pacing Ohio at the half was Vander Plas with 19 points, six rebounds and five made three-pointers. Preston and Dartis both finished the half with six points.
The Falcons and Bobcats opened the half trading baskets, however, after a layup from McDay to keep the Bobcats' lead at 10, BGSU went on a 7-0 run to cut the Ohio lead to three, forcing Ohio to call their first timeout. After Ogbonda gave Ohio a five-point lead with two free throws, the Falcons went on a 9-0 run to take a 54-50 lead over the Bobcats with 12:57 left in the game. A layup and a free throw from Ogbonda stopped the run, before the Bobcats and Falcons traded baskets to cut the BGSU lead to 58-57 going into the under-12 media timeout.
Out of the timeout, a layup from Vander Plas put the Bobcats back up one, however, the Falcons went on a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead going into the under-eight media timeout. The Bobcats cut the Falcon lead down to four on a Dartis jumper, before a three-point play by the Falcons gave BGSU a seven-point lead. Dartis then drained a three with cut the Falcon lead to 71-66 with 5:35 left in the game. The Falcons then took an eight-point lead before a Preston layup cut the lead to six going into the final media timeout of the game.
Over the final three minutes, the Bobcats were unable to put a run together, only getting within six points of the Falcons, ultimately falling to BGSU, 83-74.
Up next, the Bobcats head to Amherst, N.Y. on Tuesday, Jan. 14 to take on Buffalo. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Alumni Arena.