MUNCIE, Ind. – Redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) tied Nick Kellogg with 290 career made three-pointers Saturday afternoon (Feb. 1), however the Ohio men's basketball team (10-12, 2-7 MAC) fell to Mid-American Conference opponent Ball State (12-9, 5-3 MAC), 65-54, inside Worthen Arena.
"I thought they (Ball State) were the aggressor on both ends of the floor," first year head coach Jeff Boals said. "I thought they were physical with pushes off the screens. You know, they're the number one defense in the league and they play the pack line so we knew going in that we'd have to move and screen and I didn't think we did a great job of that. Thought we were stagnant. But, I thought they had a lot to do with it."
Redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) finished the game with 12 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. Freshman guard Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) led the Bobcats with 11 points, going 5-of-7 from the field, while sophomore guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) finished the game with nine points, four rebound and five assists. Freshman guard Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y) finished the game with a team-high three steals.
Overall, Ohio shot 35.6 percent from the field, 17.9 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the free throw line, while Ball State shot 38.6 percent from the field, 24.1 percent from three-point range and 93.3 percent from the free throw line. Ohio out-rebounded Ball State. 37-35, while the Cardinals dished out 10 assists to the Bobcats' eight.
Ball State opened the game with the first two baskets before graduate transfer forward Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) hit a put-back jumper to cut the lead to two. After another layup and a three from the Cardinals, a jumper from McDay and a three from Springs cut the Ball State lead to 9-7. However, Ball State went on a 7-0 run to take a 16-7 lead going into the next media timeout.
Out of the media timeout, Preston stopped the Bobcats' scoring drought with a jumper to cut the Ball State lead to 16-9, however, the Cardinals matched it with a three to take a 19-9 lead into the under-eight media timeout.
After a three from Ball State put the Cardinals up 22-9, Vander Plas responded with two points of his own, followed by a three from McDay to cut the Ohio deficit to 22-14. However, Ball State followed those point up with two –straight jumper to put the Cardinals up 26-14 going into the final media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Preston sparked a 5-0 run for Ohio, however it was stopped with a three from Ball State, sending the game to the half with the Cardinals leading, 31-19.
At the half, Ohio shot 29.6 percent from the field, 13.3 percent from three-point range and hit the one free throw that they were awarded, while Ball State shot 40.0 percent from the field, 29.4 percent from three-point range and hit both of its free throws. Ball State out-rebounded the Bobcats, 19-15.
At the half, Preston and McDay led Ohio with five points each, while Vander Plas added four points.
Preston recorded the first point for the Bobcats seconds into the second half. After back-to-back layups from Ball State, Dartis drained his 290th career three to tie Nick Kellogg for the most threes in Bobcat history. However, after the Dartis three, Ball State went on a 5-0 run to take a 40-24 lead going into the first media timeout of the half.
Out of the timeout, Ball State hits two free throws before layup from Vander Plas get the Bobcats back on the board. After Ball State went on a 4-0 run to take a 46-28 lead, a three from freshman forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) hit a three to cut the Cardinal lead to 46-31. After the three, a layup from Ball State was followed by a layup from freshman center Nolan Foster (Mattawan, Mich.). However, another three from Ball State gave the Cardinals a 51-33 lead with 8:34 left in the game.
Out of the timeout, the Bobcats went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 51-41. Ball State responded with five-straight points before a three from Springs stopped the run cutting the lead to 56-44 with 4:12 left in the game. The Bobcats and Cardinals traded free throws until a layup from Vander Plas cut the Ball State lead to 61-48 with two minutes left in the game.
McDay hit two more layups over the remaining minutes, however the Cardinals hit their free throws down the stretch, sealing the 65-54 victory.
Up next, the Bobcats will be off during the week, but return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they host MAC East foe Miami. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. The game will serve as the second game of a men's and women's basketball Sibs Weekend doubleheader.