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Ohio Men's Basketball Plagued By Turnovers In Loss At Western Michigan

Ohio Men's Basketball Plagued By Turnovers In Loss At Western Michigan


By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Four players finished in double figures in points, but the Ohio men's basketball team (10-14, 3-9 MAC) was done in by a season-high 20 turnovers in a 69-60 loss to Mid-American Conference West Division foe Western Michigan (15-10, 7-5 MAC) on Saturday (Feb. 10) at University Arena.

The Bobcats shot 43.4 percent (23-of-53) from the field while limiting the Broncos to 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the floor, but Ohio could not overcome its miscues, which included 12 turnovers in the first half.

"Second half, we started moving the ball a little bit better," said fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips. "We started getting basket cuts. We shot 53.6 percent from the field. But, that first half, we just turned it over too much to get any real traction, and it's too bad."

Freshman guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) led Ohio with 14 points off of 7-of-15 shooting. He has now finished in double figures in points a team-high 22 times this season -- including each of the last 16 contests. Kirk also distributed a team-high four assists and grabbed three rebounds in 31 minutes of work. Junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) finished with 13 points after going 5-of-14 from the floor with three treys. He eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark, becoming the 39th Bobcat to reach the milestone in program history. He has now finished in double figures 13 times this year. Dartis also logged five rebounds, two steals and an assist over 30 minutes. Junior guard/forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) logged 13 points off of 4-of-9 shooting with three triples. He reached double figures in points for the 10th time this season. Block also notched four rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes. Senior guard Mike Laster (Detroit, Mich.) made four of his five shots -- including two three-pointers -- to finish with 12 points. He has now hit double figures in points 18 times this season. Laster also tallied a rebound, an assist and a steal in 32 minutes.

"Certainly, he's put a lot of work in to it," said Phillips of Dartis reaching the 1,000 career points milestone. "He's had a terrific week and has done a great job for us."

Western Michigan was led by a 19-point effort from senior guard Thomas Wilder, who went 7-of-14 from the floor with a pair of triples and 3-of-4 shooting from the free throw line. He also dished out a game-high six assists, tied for the team lead with six boards, blocked a game-high two shots and tied for the team lead with two steals in 34 minutes. Sophomore guard/forward Reggie Jones contributed 13 points in 17 minutes of work off of the bench. He also chipped in five rebounds and an assist. Sophomore forward Brandon Johnson compiled 10 points, tied for the team lead with six rebounds and added two assists and a block in 28 minutes.

The Bobcats jumped out to an 11-6 lead with 13:38 left in the first half thanks to a trey by Laster and two more by Dartis. The Broncos countered with an 11-5 run over the ensuing eight-plus minutes, though, to grab a 21-16 advantage, with a trey by junior guard/forward Josh Davis putting Western Michigan up by five. Layups by Block and Kirk cut Western Michigan's lead down to one with 3:38 remaining in the first half, but a triple by Johnson and a layup by Wilder combined with a 2:58 scoring drought by the Bobcats to end up the half allowed the Broncos to take a 26-21 edge into the break.

Western Michigan's lead swelled to double digits with just over 16 minutes to go after a dunk but Jones, but Ohio countered with a 15-7 run to cut the Broncos' advantage down to two, 45-43, with 10:23 left. A fastbreak dunk by Kirk off a steal from redshirt sophomore guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.) started the run while a triple by Block capped it.

A three-pointer by Johnson two minutes later had Western Michigan back up by eight, 51-43, but the Bobcats responded once again. Two layups by Kirk and a trey by Laster helped Ohio shave their deficit down to one, then a jumper by Kirk put them back in command, 53-52, with just over five minutes to go.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, their lead was short lived. Davis drew a foul on the Broncos' ensuing possession and hit a pair of freebies to put Western Michigan back up by two -- a lead it never relinquished the rest of the way. Jones put Western Michigan back up by eight, 61-53, when he sank a three with 3:29 to go, and the Broncos closed out the win on a dunk by Johnson and two made free throws apiece by Wilder and Jones. Wilder scored 15 of his 19 points over the final 20 minutes of play.

"They got to the free throw line a little bit more than us," said Phillips. "I thought we put ourselves in position to get to the free throw line; didn't happen. They hit some timely threes. Big threes in big spots."

Ohio's two-game MAC West road swing concludes next Tuesday (Feb. 13) when it visits Toledo for a 7 p.m. ET matchup at Savage Arena. The contest will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.


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