After winning their season-opener against Florida Gulf Coast University, Ohio Men’s Basketball improved to 2-0 in come-from-behind fashion, beating the Tennessee State Tigers by a 75-67 final on Monday at the Convocation Center.
Head Coach Saul Phillips could not have imagined a worst start for his team on Monday, falling behind 14-0 in the game’s opening minutes thanks to four consecutive three pointers by the Tigers, three from the hot hand of Johnny Woodard.
Jaaron Simmons finally got the green and white on the scoreboard with a three pointer of his own to make the score 14-3.
From then on, both teams would battle back-and-forth throughout the game’s opening half. Ohio went on a 22-8 run to tie the game at 22 and would take their first lead of the game with 3:58 remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws by red shirt Sophomore Khari Harley.
The Bobcats led by four with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, but four consecutive free throws by the Tigers’ Tahjere McCall tied the game at 37 heading into intermission.
Ohio once again had to play from behind when the second half got under way as TSU went on a 14-4 run right away to take a 51-41 lead with 14:08 remaining in the game.
Ohio still trailed by ten over five minutes later when they started their run to a second straight victory in front of a hometown Athens crowd.
Gavin Block and Jordan Dartis, both freshman, each had five points in Ohio’s 14-1 run to take a 62-59 lead with four-and-a-half minutes left.
Dartis delivered the dagger with a three pointer from the wing that gave Ohio their largest lead of the game (eight) with just over a minute remaining.
The Bobcats knocked down each of their last six free throw attempts and coasted to an eight point victory.
Dartis led the Bobcats with 17 points, 15 of them coming on five hits from behind-the-arc.
McCall had a team-high 17 points for Tennessee State, who fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Ohio will now travel for the first-round of the U.S Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Friday when they take on Tulsa at 1:00 pm.
Tulsa started their season with a 98-81 win over Central Arkansas last Saturday, and will play host to #9 Wichita State Tuesday on ESPN 3 before facing Ohio on Friday.