BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Ohio men's basketball team (13-14, 5-9 MAC) dropped a 62-61 heartbreaker to Mid-American Conference leading Bowling Green (20-7, 11-3 MAC), Saturday afternoon inside the Stroh Center.
"I thought we should have won the game," first year head coach Jeff Boals said." It comes down to little plays like the missed free throw on the one-and-one. A missed blockout and Justin Turner gets the rebound. I don't know how many open shots that we had that hit the backboard first or we airballed them. In a game like this you have to step up and knock those in. Then on the defensive end, I thought over the course of a 40 minute game, we knew there were a could of guys that we wants to help off of and we didn't do that and it allowed them to score. When you add those things up over the course of the game, it ends up being a one-point loss."
Leading Ohio was sophomore guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) who scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists. Redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) added 13 points and five rebounds, while redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) scored 10 points. Graduate transfer forward Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) grabbed a team-leading 12 rebounds. Freshman forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) scored eight points in his first career start.
Overall, Ohio shot 39.7 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point range and were 1-of-3 from the free throw line, while Bowling Green shot 38.2 percent from the field, 40.7 percent from three-point range and were 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Bowling Green out-rebounded Ohio, 33-26, while the Falcons dished out 16 assists to Ohio's eight. However, Ohio forced 13 BGSU turnovers and scored 15 points off of them.
For Bowling Green, Trey Diggs finished the game with 22 points, while Justin Turner finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Ohio got the first points of the game with a layup from Dartis in the opening minutes. After Bowling Green hit a three to take an early 3-2 lead, a layup from Preston sparked a run for the Bobcats that saw four points from Vander Plas and a three from Dartis that gave Ohio an 11-3 lead and forced and early Bowling Green timeout.
After Bowling Green hit a three to stop the Ohio run, back-to-back threes from Preston game Ohio a 20-9 lead with 11:49 left in the half. After Bowling Green cut the Ohio lead to 20-12, a Dartis three followed by Preston's third trey of the game put the Bobcats up 26-14 going into the media timeout. Out of the timeout, Dartis, Ogbonda and Preston all drained three-pointers to give Ohio a 32-14 lead with 6:54 left in the first half.
Bowling Green then went on a 5-0 run before a three from Roderick with 3:06 left in the half gave Ohio a 35-19 lead. After a three from the Falcons, a layup from redshirt junior guard Connor Murrell (Sioux City, Iowa) and a layup from Dartis sent the Bobcats into the locker room with a 39-24 lead.
At the half, Ohio shot 46.9 percent from the field, went 9-of-15 (.600) from three-point range and did not attempt a free throw, while Bowling Green shot 23.3 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and were 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Bowling Green out-rebounded the Bobcats, 22-19, while Ohio forced seven Bowling Green turnovers and scored seven points off of them, while the Bobcats recorded two turnovers.
At the half, Preston led Ohio with 14 points, going 5-of-9 from the field and 4-of-4 from three-point range. Dartis added 10 points, while Ogbonda grabbed 10 boards over the first 20 minutes of play.
Bowling Green opened the second half on an 11-0 run, cutting the Ohio lead to 39-35 and forcing the Bobcats to call a timeout with 16:52 left in the game. Out of the timeout, Ohio stopped the BGSU run with a layup from Murrell, giving the Bobcats a 41-35 lead going into the first media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Bowling Green drained a three to cut the Ohio lead to 41-38 with 15:35 left in the game. However, back-to-back layups from Vander Plas and Roderick, and a steal from freshman guard Miles Brown (Rochester, Ind.) that resulted in a Ogbonda layup, put Ohio up 47-38 going into the under-12 media timeout.
Out of the timeout, a Vander Plas layup extended the Ohio lead to 49-38, but Bowling Green stopped the run with a dunk. After another BGSU layup, a three from Roderick helped give the Bobcats a 52-46 lead going into the under-eight media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Bowling Green went on a 7-0 run to take a one-point lead, before a layup from Preston put the Bobcats back in front. After a Bowling Green three gave the Falcons a two-point lead, another Preston layup tied the game at 56-56.
Ohio retook the lead with a Vander Plas jumper before two free throws from Bowling Green tied the game at 58-58 with 2:49 left in the game. A Vander Plas layup and free throw with 43 seconds left gave the Bobcats a 61-58 lead. BGSU's Turner hit two free throws with 30 seconds left to give Ohio the ball back up one. After a missed free throw from Roderick, Turner hit a contested jumper with two seconds remaining to give Bowling Green the 62-61 lead and victory.
Up next, the Bobcats are back in Athens for the first of their final two home games of the regular season. Ohio hosts Buffalo on Tuesday, Feb. 25 with tip-off set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.