ATHENS, Ohio – Sophomore guard Jason Preston recorded the first triple double for the Bobcats since 2011 and the Ohio men's basketball team (11-12, 3-7 MAC) had a day of rewriting the record book when its defeated Mid-American Conference rival Miami (9-14, 2-8 MAC), 77-46, in the Battle of the Bricks on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 8) in the Convocation Center.
"To start the game, we wanted to set the tone and set the rules," first year head coach Jeff Boals said. "We wanted to be the aggressor. I thought we were the aggressor on both ends. Ball pressure, fighting through screens and really getting into the gaps. I thought we were able to do that and that set the tone for the game. We come down and we missed three layups in the first four minutes, but give our guys a lot of credit. After the first media timeout we were down 5-3 and they didn't panic. They came out and turned up the pressure."
Preston (Orlando, Fla.) recorded his first career triple double with 15 point, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Preston shot 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the free throw line in his 36 minutes of play. Redshirt senior Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) rewrote the record book when he became the all-time leader in career made three-pointers after shooting 3-for-6 from behind the arc and 6-of-13 from the field with 11 points. Redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) finished with 18 points and four rebounds in his 26 minutes of play. Freshman forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) finished with 11 points and shot 3-of-8 from the three point range.
"It's nice," Preston said reguarding the triple double. "Most importantly we got the win. We were on a four game losing streak and to come in here and beat our rival, that's what's most important."
Overall, Ohio shot 48.1 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three-point range and 93.8 percent from the free throw line, while Miami shot 26.3 percent from the field, 20 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats out-rebounded the RedHawks, 40-34, while Ohio dished out 17 assists to Miami's five.
AND THERE IT IS!— Ohio Men's Basketball (@OhioMBasketball) February 8, 2020
Miami opened the game with the first two points, before Dartis drained the first shot he took, setting the new Ohio career three-point record. Miami went on to hit a three of their own, giving the RedHawks a 5-3 lead going into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, Roderick hit a three and was followed by a layup from Preston, putting Ohio up three, going into the next media timeout.
"It's huge," Dartis said on setting the three-point record. "I'm just happy we got the win today. When it comes down the road I'm going to look back on it and see that it's big time. I'm very appreciative and I'm very humbled. I passed Nick Kellogg. Shout out to him. He's a great OU legend and to pass him, it's a great feeling."
Out of the timeout, Ohio continued their run, stretching it to a 15-0 run that was highlighted by a deep three from Vander Plas and Roderick's second three of the night to take an 18-5 lead into the under-eight media timeout. Out of the timeout, Miami stopped the run with two free throws, before freshman guard Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) matched that with two free throws of his own. After the RedHawks recorded their first field goal since the the opening minutes with 5:20 left in the half, a layup from graduate transfer forward Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcout, Nigeria), a jumper from Roderick and a deep three from Dartis gave Ohio a 28-8 lead with 3:46 left in the half.
Out of the timeout, Preston hit back-to-back layups before two free throws from freshman guard Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) put the Bobcats up 26. The RedHawks hit a three with 22 seconds left to send the Bobcats into the locker room with a 34-11 lead.
At the half, Ohio shot 52 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and were 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Miami shot 10 percent from the field, 18 percent from three-point range and went 3-of-4 from the free throw line, Ohio out rebounded the RedHawks, 20-17, while the Bobcats dished out seven assists to Miami's two.
Individually, Roderick and Preston both scored eight points, while Preston also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.
Vander Plas opened the second half with a layup seconds into the half to put Ohio up 25. After free throws from Miami, Vander Plas recorded another layup and drained another deep three to put Ohio up 41-16 going into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, another three from Vander Plas and a layup from Preston put the Bobcats up 32 with 14:07 left in the half. Miami then went on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 28 before a layup and a free throw from Vander Plas put the Bobcats back up 31.
Ohio and Miami began to trade baskets out of the media timeout, with Miami cutting the Ohio lead to 23 points with 9:49 left. A layup from Preston brought Ohio's lead back to 25 with 9:36 to go. Over the next few minutes, Miami cut the Bobcats' lead to 19 points after a free throw, however freshman center Nolan Foster (Mattawan, Mich.) hit two free throws and Roderick drained his third three of the night to give Ohio a 63-39 lead going into the under-eight media timeout.
JP has just recorded his first ever career triple double, the second in Ohio Men's Basketball history! pic.twitter.com/8kNEPor44t— Ohio Men's Basketball (@OhioMBasketball) February 8, 2020
Out of the timeout, the RedHawks were only able to cut into the Ohio lead to 24 with 6:32 left in the game. After the under-four media timeout, freshman guard Michael Brown, Jr. (Rochester, N.Y.) recorded a layup before sophomore guard John Tenerowicz (Cleveland, Ohio) hit a three with 20 seconds left to seal the 77-46 victory.
Up next, the Bobcats welcome Western Michigan on Feb. 11. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.