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No. 8 Ohio Men’s Basketball Set for MAC Quarterfinals Matchup Against No. 1 Akron on Thursday 

No. 8 Ohio Men’s Basketball Set for MAC Quarterfinals Matchup Against No. 1 Akron on Thursday 

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2019-20 • GAME 33
Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 12 p.m. EST | No. 8 Ohio (17-15) vs. No. 1 Akron (24-7) | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Cleveland, Ohio | ESPN+ | Live Stats | Listen | Ohio Notes | Akron Notes | Tournament Central 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio men's basketball team (17-15) continues play at the 2020 Mid-American Conference Tournament on Thursday, March 12 when the Bobcats take on No. 1 Akron (24-7) in the MAC Quarterfinals. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. Thursday's game can be seen on ESPN+ where Michael Reghi and Rhett Boyd will have the call. 

Thursday's game can be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats," along with Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius. 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
• The Bobcats are 42-32 (.569) all-time in the MAC Tournament and have captured six league tournament crowns. 
• Ohio is making its 39th appearance in the MAC Tournament in 2020.
• This is the 85th all-time meeting between Ohio and Akron.
• Akron leads the all-time series, 44-40.
• The Bobcats and Akron last met on last met on March 6 when the Bobcats fell to Akron 74-67 in Akron. 
• Ohio and Akron last met in the MAC Tournament on Mach 13, 2014 in the MAC Semifinals, falling to the Zips, 83-77. 
• Ohio is 5-9 against Akron since the start of the 2013-14 season.
•  Sophomore guard Jason Preston is currently first in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game.  
Jason Preston was named to the All-MAC Second Team, while Ben Vander Plas Earned a spot on the All-MAC Third Team, with Lunden McDay making an appearance on the All-Freshman squad. 
Jordan Dartis became the all-time leader in three-pointers made on Feb. 8 against Miami. He now currently sites with 314. 
• Dartis is currently 18 made three-pointers away from setting the new MAC record for three made. Current Central Michigan forward David DiLeo just set the new record on Feb. 7 with 332 made threes.  
Ben Vander Plas was named to the 2019-20 Academic All-American All-District Men's Basketball team on Feb. 20. 
Jason Preston recorded the second triple-double in Bobcats history on Feb. 8, second only to D.J. Cooper who registered one on Dec. 10, 2011 at Portland. 

SCOUTING NO. 1 AKRON
Akron enters the matchup with the Bobcats with a 24-7 record and were the MAC Regular Season Champions. The Zips are coming off of an 79-76 victory over Kent State on March 6.

Overall, Akron averages 75.7 points per game, while shooting 44.0 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. The Zips also average 37.7 rebounds, 13.1 assists and 5.1 steals per game. Akron also averages 2.9 blocks and 12.8 turnovers per game.

Opponents are averaging 66.5 points and 36.6 rebounds a game, while shooting 40.0 percent from the field, 30.3 per- cent from three-point range and 66.9 percent from the free throw line. Opponents average 10.3 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 6.0 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Individually, Loren Cristian Jackson, who was named the MAC Player of the Year,  leads Akron with 19.8 points per game, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field. Tyler Cheese adds 15.7 points and 4.8 rebounds, while Xeyrius Williams averages 13.9 points per game and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds per game.

SCOUTING No. 8 OHIO
The eighth seeded Bobcats are 17-15 on the season after defeating CMU, 85-65, on March 9 in Athens.

Overall this season, the Bobcats are averaging 71.4 points, 35.4 rebounds, 14.7 assists and 6.4 steals per game. The Bobcats are shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three-point range and 68.9 percent from the free throw line. 

Ohio is holding opponents to 68.5 points, 33.7 rebounds, 11.1 assists and 6.2 steals per game. Opponents are also shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 78.1 percent from the free throw line. 

Ohio is averaging 12.7 turnovers per game, while forcing opponents to turn the ball over 12.7 times a game.  

Jason Preston, who earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team, leads the Bobcats with 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Ben Vander Plas, who earned a spot on the All-MAC Third Team,  averages 15.7 points per game and 6.9 rebounds, while shooting 49.2 percent from the field. Jordan Dartis adds 12.9 points per game. 

OHIO IN THE MAC TOURNAMENT
The Bobcats are 42-32 (.569) all-time in the MAC Tournament  and have captured six league tournament crowns. 

Ohio and Akron last met in the MAC Tournament on Mach 13, 2014 in the MAC Semifianls, falling to the Zips, 83-77. 

ROAD TO CLEVELAND
The 2020 MAC Basketball Tournament will once again be held at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland. This year's tournament will begin on March 9 with first round games on campus before moving to Cleveland (March 12-14). The tournament semifinal games will air on CBS Sports Network, while the title game will be played on Saturday, March 14 on ESPN2. Ohio will be looking to earn in its seventh MAC tournament crown in program history and first since 2012.

The winner of the 2020 MAC Basketball Tournament will earn the league's automatic bid to the 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship field. Selection Sunday is March 15, 2020. 

The winner of Thursday's matchup between Ohio and Akron will square with either No. 4 Northern Illinois or No. 12 Miami on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. 

ALL TIME VS. AKRON
This is the 85th all-time meeting between Ohio and Akron.

Akron leads the all-time series, 44-40.

LAST TIME VS. AKRON
The Bobcats and Akron last met on last met on March 6 when the Bobcats fell to Akron 74-67 in Akron. 

In the meeting before that, the Bobcats fell to the Zips, 88-86 inside the Convo on Jan. 25. 

ALL- MAC HONORS
Sophomore guard Jason Preston was named Second Team All-MAC, redshirt sophomore Ben Vander Plas was named All-MAC Third Team, while freshman Lunden McDay was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.

THE JAY PRESTON SHOW
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. 

This season, Preston is averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.5 assists, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 72.5 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 scored 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. 

Preston tied his career high on Jan. 14 at Buffalo, scoring 27 points, going 11-of-21 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range, while dishing out six assists and grabbing 10 rebounds. 

Preston tied his career high again on Jan. 21 against Toledo, where he scored 27 points, going 11-of-21 from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. 

Preston recorded the second triple-double in Bobcats history on Feb. 8, second only to D.J. Cooper who registered one on Dec. 10, 2011 at Portland. 

Preston was named the MAC East POW for the fourth time this season on Feb, 10.

The week of Feb. 10. Preston was sensational, averaging 20.5, 9.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists in two games. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on March 2 for his performance the week of Feb. 24. 

On March 6 at Miami, Preston led the Bobcats to a thrilling come-from-behind victory with just under three minutes to go. Overall, he scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out seven assists. 

Preston was named First Team All-MAC on March 11.

OHIO IN THE NCAA
Jason Preston is currently first in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game. Preston is also ranked seventh in minutes per game. 

Jordan Dartis enters the week ranked 34th in the nation in three-point field goals per game and 66th in total 3-point field goals made. 

As a team, Ohio ranks 50th in assists per game, 41st in total assists and 39th in total three pointers made. 

IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are second in field goal percentage, first in rebounding defense and second in total assists. Ohio is also second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio. 

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

Jordan Dartis is fourth in the conference in three-pointers made. 

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

Vander Plas is averaging 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Vander Plas is also shooting 49.2 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. 

In Jan. 11, Vander Plas scored a career-high 25 points against Bowling Green. Vander Plas finished the day, 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range. 

Vander Plas was even better on Jan. 14 at Buffalo, setting a new career-high, scoring 28 points, going 11-of-20 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and grabbed five rebounds. 

The week of Jan. 13, Vander Plas averaged 25.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds and shot 55.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range.

Since the start of conference play, Ben Vander Plas is averaging 16.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three-point range. 

On March 9 against CMU, BVP was on fire, leading Ohio with 25 points, 10 assists and a career-high seven assists. 

JORDY'S BACK, TELL A FRIEND
Jordan Dartis made his return to the court on Nov. 5 against St. Bonaventure. The game marked his first game on the court since March 5, 2018. 

In the game, Dartis scored 19 points, hitting three threes and going 7-of-15 from the field. 

On Nov. 13 at Iona, Dartis scored 13 points and went 3-of-9 from the field. 

On Nov. 24 against Middle Tennessee State, Dartis went off, finishing the game with a season-high 32 points, going 9-of-18 from the field, 8-of-13 from three-point range and 6-of-8 from the free throw line, while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out four assists. 

Dartis continued his hot streak on Nov. 30 against Detroit Mercy when he scored 26 points, 18 of while came in the first four minute of the game. 

Dartis was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 2. 

This season, Dartis is averaging 12.9 points per game, while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from three-point range. 

On Dec. 21 against Morehead State, Dartis was on fire, leading the Bobcats with 25 points while hitting five threes in the Bobcats' victory. 

On Jan. 7 against EMU, Dartis caught fire once again, leading the Bobcats to victory with 26 points and eight made threes. 

Jordan Dartis became the all-time leader in three-pointers made on Feb. 8 against Miami. He now currently sits with 314. 

MCDAY HAS A DAY
On Nov. 21 against No. 24 Baylor, McDay had his best game of his young career. McDay scored 16 points, going 6-of-11 from the field, 1-of-4 from three-point range, 3-of-5 from the free throw line, while grabbing five rebounds in 28 minutes.

McDay then scored a career-high 16 points at Miami on March 9 and also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds in the victory. 

McDay earned a spot on the MAC All-Freshmen Team. 

UP NEXT
The winner of Thursday's matchup between Ohio and Akron will square with either No. 4 Northern Illinois or No. 12 Miami on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. 

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