Men’s basketball: Bobcats aim for revenge against Broncos

The last time the Ohio Bobcats and Western Michigan Broncos faced off, the Broncos came away with a 90-74 victory in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Feb. 5.

With the two schools set to do battle Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside the Convo, Ohio junior forward Maurice Ndour, who averages 15.3 points per game and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game, wants to make sure Ohio gets a split of the regular-season series.

“We definitely want to get revenge on them,” Ndour said. “They are the only team that has beat us badly this season.”

Austin Richie, David Brown, Shayne Whittington and Connar Tava combined to score 78 of Western Michigan’s 90 points. Despite a poor defensive showing, Ndour said the Bobcats will not change their strategy on the defensive end.

“It’s a matter of us showing energy on the defensive end,” Ndour said.

For Ohio coach Jim Christian, the team needs to do better in many areas if the Bobcats want to make amends for their performance on Feb. 5.

“We have to execute better because we played poorly the first time against them,” Christian said. “We have to adjust some things and play harder in the game.”

In Ohio’s last game, it earned a 73-70 victory at Buffalo on Saturday. In the victory, Ohio came back from a double-digit second-half deficit for the seventh time in its last 15 games.

“It says a lot about our team,” Christian said. “We are obviously not doing things well in the games, but we are a resilient group. You can get a lot of things done in sports if you believe in one another.”

Junior point guard Stevie Taylor, who leads the team in assists with 3.3 per game, did not feature in Ohio’s victory at Buffalo. Christian said Taylor’s status is day to day.

Ohio (18-7, 8-4 MAC) has won five of its last seven games. The ‘Cats are also 49-6 in their last 55 home games, including an 11-3 mark this season.

Western Michigan (16-8, 9-3 MAC) comes into the game winners of five-straight games. The Broncos are 3-6 away from home this season.

The Broncos are second in the MAC in field goal percentage and third in opponent 3-point field goal percentage. Western Michigan is led by Brown, who leads the MAC in scoring with 18.4 points per game. Whittington is fourth in the MAC in rebounding at 8.6 per game.

Ohio has won five of the last seven matchups against Western Michigan. The Broncos have not won in Athens since Jan. 22, 2000.

Western Michigan is coached by Steve Hawkins, who is 197-153 in 11 seasons in Kalamazoo.

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