Men’s Basketball: Offensive Struggles Doom Bobcats

For the first time since 2010, the Ohio Bobcats have started MAC play with an 0-4 conference record. Ohio fell 69-59 to Kent State on the road on Saturday, thanks to poor shooting and streaky defensive play.

The Bobcats (5-10, 0-4 MAC) shot just 34 percent from the field en route to their fourth consecutive defeat.

“You can’t shoot 34 percent on the road and win,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said on the Ohio IMG Radio Network. “We aren’t the most patient team in the world offensively.”

Kent State (12-5, 3-1) stormed ahead with a 18-6 run to enter halftime with a 30-19 lead, and the Golden Flashes maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.

Ohio turned the ball over 14 times in the loss, 11 of them coming in the first half. The ‘Cats shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half.

“We’re just not executing well enough,” Phillips said. “And we don’t have the greatest margin for error.”

Kent State was led by point guard Derek Jackson’s 18 points and four assists. Jackson was one of four Golden Flashes in double-digits.

Maurice N’dour finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. The double-double was N’dour’s seventh of the season. Stevie Taylor added 10 points and four boards off the bench.

Kent State’s lead expanded to as large as 21 late in the game. The Bobcats ended the night on a 19-8 run, but the spurt was too little, too late.

The 2009-2010 Ohio Bobcats team started MAC play off 0-4, but went on the win the MAC Tournament and upset No. 3 seed Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If the 2014-2015 Bobcats want to achieve anything close to that, they’ll need a drastic turnaround from this dismal span.

The Green & White will travel to Muncie on Wednesday, Jan. 21 to take on Ball State (7-8, 2-2 MAC).

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