ATHENS, Ohio -- A pair of double-doubles by junior guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) and senior forward Dwight Wilson III. (Tallahassee, Fla.) propelled the Ohio men's basketball team (4-1) to a 92-72 victory over Division II Purdue Northwest inside the Convocation Center on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 10).
"I'm proud of our guys for overcoming some adversity," said second-year head coach Jeff Boals. "I thought we might be a little sluggish with finals going on. We tested this morning at 7:15 a.m. Not your normal game day routine. We had a couple of guys that had finals before shoot around. I was kind of expecting it. I think it's always good to face some adversity and see how your guys respond. I thought the second half, Miles Brown, was probably the difference in the game from an energy standpoint, effort standpoint. It really turned the tide defensively. I thought it was the tale of two halves. I thought they dictated the first half and I thought we dictated the second half."
Ohio had five players notch double digit points in the win. Preston scored 22 points, dishing out 11 assists and adding three rebounds. Wilson III tallied 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) finished the day with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and six assists. Sophomore guard Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) scored 14 points as he went 4-of-8 from the field, 1-of-4 from three-point range, and 5-of-6 from the line. Off the bench, sophomore guard Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) notched a career-high 11 points, going 4-of-6 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range, and 2-of-3 from the line, while adding three steals. Freshman forward Sam Towns (Columbus, Ohio) earned his first start of his collegiate career, scoring two points while adding four rebounds and two assists.
FINAL IN THE CONVO pic.twitter.com/N1OGNTvOSb— Ohio Men's Basketball (@OhioMBasketball) December 10, 2020
For Purdue Northwest, Jyrus Freels had 19 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.
Overall, Ohio shot 53 percent from the field, 26 percent from three-point range, and 14-of-23 from the line, while Purdue Northwest shot 44 percent from the field, 41 percent from three, and 11-of-17 from the free throw line. The Bobcats forced 18 turnovers, scoring 17 points, while only turning over the ball nine times.
Ohio won the tip, and was first on the board as the first few minutes were a back-and-forth battle, with Ohio holding a 6-4 lead with 16:12 remaining. Wilson III made a statement with a dunk to give Ohio a 18-16 lead, but the Pride answered right back with a dunk of their own with 10:01 remaining in the half. An 8-0 run by the Pride put them up 31-23 with 5:59 remaining. The Pride took a 29-23 lead with 6:52 remaining, eliciting a timeout from Ohio. A steal and score from Brown brought the Bobcats within four as the Pride held onto a 40-36 lead at halftime.
Ohio shot 45.5 percent from field-goal range, 9.1 percent from three-point range, and 55.6 percent from the free throw line. On the other hand, Purdue Northwest was 48.4 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range, and 100 percent from the line. Purdue Northwest grabbed 20 rebounds to Ohio's 16. The Pride dished out 12 assists to Ohio's eight. Ohio led in blocks and steals with three and four, respectively.
The Bobcats came roaring out of the locker room from halftime and never looked back, scoring six points in the first minute, giving them a 43-41 lead with 18:59 left to play. Ohio went on a 17-3 run to open the half, including a nifty under the hoop pass from Preston to Wilson III, who slammed it home, forcing the Pride to call a timeout with 15:29 remaining. The Pride would go on a 10-0 run of their own, bringing them within two as the Bobcats held a 57-55 lead with 10:35 left.
Another 9-0 run by the Bobcats gave Ohio a 68-57 lead with 8:03 remaining. Ohio would outscore the Pride 19-8 in the last 5:30 to play to secure the win.
The Bobcats return to action on Sunday, December 13 against Marshall University. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. inside the Cam Henderson Center.