Ohio Men’s Basketball (6-1) defeated Evansville (5-2) on Saturday afternoon, 81-59. With the win, Ohio captured the Ohio Classic title. Their 4-0 record in the invitational also featured wins over Valparaiso, Heidelberg, and Mercer.
The Bobcats never trailed in this dominant win. They jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. At half, they led 42-26 and expanded their advantage to as much as 34 with 7:15 left in the game.
Ohio possessed a balanced offensive attack led by senior Nick Kellogg, who totaled 13
points. Kellogg was one of four Bobcats in double figures. Bean Willis (Jr.) and Ricardo Johnson (Sr.) both finished with 12 points and Travis Wilkins (Sr.) added 10.
Ohio head coach Jim Christian was very pleased with the way his bench stepped up. “For the first time all season, when we went to the bench (…) the energy of the game picked up,” said Christian.
Ohio held Evansville, who going into the game averaged 82.8 points per game, to 37.7% shooting from the floor. Evansville’s D.J. Balentine (Soph.) had 15 points. Balentine, who was the nation’s fifth ranked scorer averaging 27 ppg, went 5-13 from the floor. The Purple Aces were led on Saturday by center Egidiju Mockevicius (Spoh.), who scored 19 points and added 9 boards.
The ‘Cats outrebounded the Aces 40-31. Maurice N’dour and Jon Smith each grabbed six rebounds. Ricardo Johnson, Nick Kellogg, and Stevie Taylor all had five rebounds.
Bobcat fans held their breaths when forward Maurice N’dour went down late in the 2nd half. N’dour, the Green & White’s leading scorer and rebounder, had to be helped off the court. The current diagnosis is just a sprained ankle and reports indicate that this ankle was hurt prior to the incident, so the injury isn’t looking serious at the moment. N’dour will have a MRI Sunday.
The Bobcats have no games this week as the student-athletes prepare for finals. Their next game is Saturday, Dec. 7th @ Oakland (0-7) at 6pm.