Ohio Basketball returns to action against Evansville on Saturday

Early season standout Maurice N’dour and the Ohio Bobcats (5-1) return to action on Saturday when they host Evansville (5-1) of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday at 2pm.

The junior college transfer leads the Bobcats averaging 15.5 points per game (7th in the MAC), 8.3 rebounds per game (3rd in the MAC), and 2.3 blocks per game (4th in the MAC). The junior is coming off of his first career double-double on Tuesday against Mercer when he totaled 23 points and 11 boards. A clip of some of the Nov. 11-18 MAC East Player of the Week’s highlights can be seen below.

The Bobcats’ will look to shut down Evansville guard D.J. Balentine. Balentine, a 6’2”

Evansville's D.J. Balentine ranks 5th in the nation in scoring. Ohio looks to stop him on Saturday.

Evansville’s D.J. Balentine ranks 5th in the nation in scoring. Ohio looks to stop him on Saturday.

sophomore shooting guard, is currently averaging 27 points per game and has led the Purple Aces in scoring every game this season. His 27 PPG rank 5th in the nation. Balentine has scored at least 29 points in all five of Evansville’s wins.

Ohio and Evansville possess similar non-conference schedules this season. Like the Bobcats, the Purple Aces have already defeated both Mercer (11/18 Won 89-76) and Valparaiso (11/20 Won 100-92). Also similar to Ohio, Evansville’s only loss comes to a highly touted Big Ten team. Indiana, No. 25 in the Coaches’ Poll, defeated Evansville 77-46 on Tuesday. Ohio’s lone loss was suffered in a 10 point defeat to No. 7/6 Ohio State.

The Bobcats hold an advantage on the boards going into Saturday’s game. Evansville currently ranks 313th in the country in rebounding, with no player averaging more than five rebounds per game. Ohio will look to exploit the Purple Aces’ weakness with forwards N’dour, Jon Smith (5.5 RPG), and Ricardo Johnson (5.5 RPG) attacking the glass.

Saturday’s meeting will be the fifth between the two schools with the series tied at 2-2. The game tips off at 2pm at the Convocation Center. Radio coverage is avaliable on the Ohio IMG Sports Network.

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