Ohio Men’s Basketball Set to Host Ball State Saturday in the Convo

Ohio Men’s Basketball Set to Host Ball State Saturday in the Convo

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2018-19 • GAME 19
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
2 p.m. | Ohio (10-8, 2-4 MAC) vs. Ball State (11-8, 2-4 MAC) | Convocation Center | Athens, Ohio | Live Stats | ESPN3Listen | Ohio Notes | Ball State Notes

ATHENS, Ohio-- The Ohio men's basketball team (10-8, 2-4 MAC) return to Athens on Saturday, Jan. 26 when the Bobcats host Mid-American Conference West foe Ball State (11-8, 2-4 MAC). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. 

Saturday's contest will be broadcast on the WatchESPN App with Marty Bannister and Toni Roesch on the call. The game will also be on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with 'The voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Radio pregame coverage is set to begin at 1:30 a.m. ET with 'Countdown To Tipoff.'

SCOUTING BALL STATE
Ball State enters the matchup with Ohio with an overall record of 11-8 and a 2-4 mark in MAC play and are coming off of a 71-65 loss at home against Miami on Jan. 22. The Cardinals are also 1-3 since the two teams met two weeks ago. 

The Cardinals average 80.9 points per game and are shooting 49.6 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from three-point range and 71.8 percent from the free throw line. Ball State averages 37.7 rebounds per game to go along with 13.7 assists, 6.4 steals and 3.8 blocks per game. Ball State also forces opponents to turn the ball over an average of 13.1 times per game. 

Meanwhile, Ball State opponents are averaging 73.0 points per game, 33.9 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 6.3 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. Opponents also force the Cardinals to turn the ball over 13.6 times per game. Opponents are also shooting 41.6 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 73.5 percent from the free throw line. 

Tayler Persons is averaging 16.8 points per game and is shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 82.4 percent from the free throw line. He has also dished out a team-leading 85 assists. Tahjai Teague is averaging 14.9 points per game and is shooting 61.4 percent from the field and averaging 7.7 rebounds. K.J. Walton adds 14.6 points per game and is shooting 56.6 percent from the field, while Trey Moses leads the team with 29 blocks. 

IN BALL STATE'S LAST GAME

Ball State is coming off of a 71-65 loss against Miami on Jan. 22 inside Worthen Arena. 

In that game, Ball State shot 40.7 percent from the field, 9.1 percent from three-point range and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. They grabbed 36 boards, dished out seven assists and had five blocks and nine steals. Meanwhile, Miami shot 51.5 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. They grabbed 27 rebounds, 11 assists, had three blocks, seven steals and turned the ball over 17 times. 

Individually, K.J. Walton led Ball State with 16 points, going 6-of-14 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tahjai Teague finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Trey Moses and Tayler Persons both added 11 points. 

SERIES HISTORY
This is the 84th all-time meeting between the two teams, with Ohio leading the all-time series, 48-35. The Bobcats and Ball State last met on Jan. 12, with Ohio downing the Cardinals, 70-52 inside Worthen Arena. 

The Bobcats have won the last four meetings with Ball State inside the Convocation Center. 

LAST TIME AGAINST BALL STATE
Ohio and Ball State last met a few weeks ago on Jan. 12 in Muncie, with Ohio coming away with the 70-52 victory. 

In that game, Teyvion Kirk led the Bobcats with 19 points, going 6-of-18 from the field and 7-of-12 from throw line, while grabbing nine rebounds. Redshirt sophomore forward Jason Carter  added 13 points, going 5-of-12 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, while grabbing nine boards. Senior forward Doug Taylor scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards while going 5-of-6 from the field. Freshman guard Jason Preston  added a career-high eight assists off the bench.

Overall, Ohio shot 41.7 percent from the field, 47.1 from three-point range and 57.1 from the free throw line, while Ball State shot 35.4 percent from the field, 8.3 percent from three-point range and 63.0 percent from the free throw line. Ohio out-rebounded the Cardinals 39-36, including grabbing 12 offensive boards to BSU's nine. The Bobcats also dished out 13 assists to Ball State's five, while also recording 13 steals and registering three blocks, compared to Ball State's one block and eight steals. The Bobcats also forced the Cardinals to turn the ball over 19 times and scored 19 points off of them. Ohio scored 32 points in the paint and 14 second chance points. 

For Ball State, the Cardinals were led by Tayler Persons, who scored 16 points, going 7-for-17 from the field. K.J. Walton and Zach Gunn both added 10 points, while Trey Moses grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

LAST TIME OUT FOR OHIO
The Bobcats are coming off of an 81-76 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 22. 

Block went 5-of-9 from behind the arc for a team-high 16 points, while compiling five assists and three steals in 28 minutes of play. Preston added six points while compiling his game-high nine assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Redshirt sophomore forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) followed closely behind with 14 points going 4-of-9 from the field and compiled seven rebounds and three assists in his 30 minutes of play. Redshirt junior guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.) compiled 13 points going 3-of-4 from behind the arc in his eight minutes of play, while sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) compiled 11 points going 5-of-11 from the field and two assists in 20 minutes of work for Ohio. Redshirt freshman forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) added a team-high 11 rebounds, a steal and a block in 23 minutes of play for the Bobcats.

Ohio finished the game with a 50.9 percent (28-of-55) field goal percentage and 22 assists compared to Western Michigan who finished the game with a 45 percent (27-of-60) field goal percentage and 13 assists. Ohio registered 34 points in the paint and 25 points off the bench compared to 32 points in the paint and eight points off the bench the Broncos. Ohio compiled eight steals and five blocks compared to Western Michigan who compiled five steals and two blocks. Western Michigan barely surpassed Ohio registering 34 total rebounds compared to 31 for the Bobcats. 

Michael Flowers led the Broncos in scoring with a game-high 24 points including 6-of-8 from behind the arc. Flowers added a team-high four assists and two steals in his 34 minutes of play. Seth Dugan finished with a double-double, compiling 23 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in his 35 minutes of play. Dugan added three assists and a steal for the Broncos. William Boyer-Richard added 12 points and three-assists in his 33 minutes of play for Western Michigan.

SCOUTING OHIO
The Bobcats enter the matchup with Ball State with an overall record of 10-8 and a 2-4 mark in MAC play. 

Ohio is averaging 70.9 points per game. They are shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 30.9 percent from three-point range and 63.9 from the free throw line. The Bobcats are also averaging 38.9 rebounds a contest to go along with 14.5 assists, 7.3 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.  

Individually, Jason Carter is averaging 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 35.1 percent from three-point range and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Teyvion Kirk is adding 15.4 points per game 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. 

Vander Plas is averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 42.2 from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. 

Doug Taylor is leading the Bobcats with 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while Jason Preston is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 68.8 percent from the free throw line, while also adding 3.0 assists per game. 

CARTER'S RETURN ALREADY FELT
Carter has led the Bobcats in scoring in 12  of Ohio's 18 games, recording a double-double against Wilberforce, and scoring 24 points against Campbell. 

Carter also added a double-double against Austin Peay on Nov. 24, while trying a career-high with 25 points in that matchups and did the same thing on Dec. 1 against Marshall.  Carter added another double-double on Jan. 15 against Kent State, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 boards. 

So far this season, Carter is averaging 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. He has also jumped his three-point shooting percentage, shooting 35.1 percent overall and 47.6 percent since MAC play began. 

Carter was also named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 3. 

Carter's presence inside has also been huge, most notably on Dec. 30 when Carter grabbed an offensive board with just under 10 seconds to go and connected on the go-ahead basket in Ohio's 68-66 victory over FIU. 

On Jan. 8 at Bowling Green, Carter hit a new career-high with five made three-point baskets.  

BIG BEN ALERT
Ben Vander Plas' addition to the lineup as also been notability. The redshirt freshman, who missed all of last season due to injury, has been the Bobcats' biggest source off the bench, scoring 16 against Wilberforce, 15 against Campbell and 10 points against LMU. 

Right now, Vander Plas' biggest impact came on Nov. 27 against Iona, where he scored a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds to register his first career double-double. 

Vander Plas would go on to tie his career-high of 18 points on Dec. 1 against Marshall.  

On Dec. 20 at Purdue, Vander Plas led the Bobcats with 15 points and tying a career-high with four made three-pointers. 

Vander Plas is averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting .422 from the field and .341 from three-point range.

TK GOING FOR ROUND TWO
Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk has picked up where he left off last season. 

Currently, Kirk is second on the team with 15.4 points per game. He also added 6.2 rebounds, while shooting 42.1 percent from the field. He has also recorded 43 total assists and 30 steals for the Bobcats.  

On Dec. 15 at Detroit Mercy, Kirk drained the game-winning three-pointer with under a minute to go to lead Ohio to a 63-61 victory. 

BLOCK PARTY
Doug Taylor, who currently registers 125 blocks in his career, which moves him into sixth all-time in program history. 

Taylor needs 14 more to pass Leon Williams for fifth all-time.

OHIO IN THE MAC -TEAM
In the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats currently rank fifth in rebounding offense (38.9), third in rebounding defense (34.0), second in rebounding margin (+4.9), fifth in offensive rebounds (11.6), fourth in defensive rebounds (27.4) and second in defensive rebounding percentage (.769). 

Ohio is also third in steals (7.3), fourth in blocked shots (3.9) and fourth in assists (14.3). 

OHIO IN THE MAC -INDIVIDUAL 
Individually, Carter is currently seventh in the MAC in scoring (16.3), while Taylor is ninth in rebounding (7.7) and seventh in field goal percentage (.554).

Kirk is fifth in steals (1.7), while Taylor is second in blocked shots (1.9) and second in offensive rebounds (3.2).

Jason Preston is fourth in assist/turnover ratio (2.2). free throw line, before being lost for the season due to an injury at the end of the first half. 

REBOUNDING MACHINES
One of the Bobcats' strengths during nonconference play has been their rebounding. Currently the Bobcats average 38.9 rebounds per game and have a +4.9 rebounding margin. 

Ohio has won the rebounding battle in 10 out of 18 games this season, with a season-high 56 against Wilberforce in the season opener. 

Nationally, the Bobcats rank 54th in rebounding margin, 55th in defensive rebounds, 83rd in offensive boards and 48th in total rebounds per game. Meanwhile, in the MAC, Ohio is fifth in rebounding offense (38.9), third in rebounding defense (34.0), second in rebounding margin (+4.9), fifth in offensive rebounds (11.6), fourth in defensive rebounds (27.4) and second in defensive rebounding percentage (.769).

PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Ohio has registered an impressive 506-164 (.756) all-time record at the Convocation Center, which opened in 1968.

In four-plus seasons under Phillips, Ohio has gone 54-22 (.708) at home. 

This season the Bobcats are in impressive 8-2 inside the Convo. 

CONVO50
Ohio announced on Dec. 3, 2018 - the 50th anniversary of the first game inside the Convocation Center - the plans for a 50th anniversary celebration for the Convo. 

Ohio Athletics will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Convocation Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 with a Sibs Weekend basketball doubleheader as the women's team battles Ball State at 1 p.m. ET and the men's team takes on Akron at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the doubleheader are $5 and include admission to both games. 

The gameday atmosphere surrounding the doubleheader will have a throwback feel to it. Celebration elements are set to include:
• Men's team wearing 1968 throwback uniforms
• Women's team wearing 1980s throwback uniforms
• Cheer and dance teams and Rufus the Bobcat in retro gear
• Retro Ohio "Attack Cat" logo displayed on the court
• Retro music playlist
• Commemorative 50th anniversary posters for the first 2,000 fans in attendance
• Men's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd
• Women's basketball reunion attendees introduced to the crowd
•Internationally known entertainer, Red Panda, to perform at halftime of the men's basketball game

UP NEXT
The Bobcats head to Dekalb, Ill. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 when Ohio takes on Northern Ill. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the NIU Convocation Center.

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