Men’s Basketball: Post play and defense lead ‘Cats to victory

A Tony Campbell double-double and 20 points from Maurice Ndour led Ohio to a 66-55 victory over the Alcorn State Braves on Saturday afternoon. The game was tied at 42 with just over 10 minutes left, but a 9-0 Bobcats run gave Ohio (3-3) a lead it never surrendered.

Tony Campbell recorded his second consecutive double-double in the victory over Alcorn State. ohiobobcats.com

Tony Campbell recorded his second consecutive double-double in the victory over Alcorn State.
Photo from ohiobobcats.com.

“We told each other in the huddle, we have to lock in on defense here,” Campbell said on the Ohio Bobcats postgame radio show after the game. “We locked in and were able to force some turnovers.”

Ohio forced the Braves to turn the ball over 15 times, a season-high for Alcorn State. The Bobcats limited Alcorn State (1-7) to 33 percent shooting from the field.

Ohio shot 47 percent from the field, including seven of 20 from 3-point range. A Khari Harley buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Ohio a 30-29 lead going into halftime.

Campbell’s 12 points and 13 rebounds gave him his second consecutive double-double in the victory. Ndour’s 20 points led all scorers and he pulled down six rebounds as well. Ndour, a  senior forward, shot over 50 percent for just the second time this season.

“I’ve got two guys that score pretty darn well in the post,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said.

Alcorn State was led in the loss by 15 points from Leantwan Luckett. Marquis Vance added 12 points and seven rebounds. Tyrel Hunt finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Braves.

“We can’t get every aspect right on a given night yet,” Phillips said. “When we do, watch out because we can beat anybody.”

The Ohio victory allows it to avoid a third straight loss. Despite his frustrations, Phillips was thankful to emerge victorious.

“A win is a win,” Phillips said. “This was the longest two-game skid in the history of sports.”

The Bobcats led for over 34 minutes of the game, but Alcorn State was able to keep it close by maintaining the rebounding edge, despite being outsized by Ohio’s front line. The Green & White didn’t lead by double digits until 25 seconds was left on the clock.

Ohio was without freshman guard Ryan Taylor in the win and played just eight men. Taylor was diagnosed with mononucleosis on Friday and is out indefinitely.

The Bobcats travel to Evansville on Thursday to take on the Purple Aces. Ohio defeated Evansville 81-59 last season at The Convo.

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