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Bobcats have balance in season-best offensive performance

Ohio tops Mount St. Mary's, 96-77

ATHENS – Teyvion Kirk and Mike Laster scored 20 points each to lead five players in double figures as Ohio defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 96-77, on Friday night at The Convo.

Kirk added six assists and five rebounds. Jordan Dartis finished with 15 points, Doug Taylor posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman backup point guard Zach Butler had his best game of the year with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Gavin Block had seven points, six rebounds and six assists.

"This is how we want to play," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "Beyond that, playing downhill and making good decisions at the rim. So many of our assists came as a result of a jump stop, a ball fake and patience. That's basketball that translates to whoever you're playing against

Junior Robinson paced the Mountaineers (2-4) with 21 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Jonah Antonio had 19 points and seven boards, and Ryan Gomes finished with 14 points.

With the game tied at 9 early, the Bobcats (3-2) went on an 11-2 run, capped by a Laster 3-pointer that put Ohio up 20-11. A Dartis 3-pointer pushed the advantage to 25-13, and Kirk hit 3-pointers to further push out the lead to 30-15 and then 37-19. James Gollon’s steal and layup capped an 8-0 run that gave the Bobcats a 20-point lead.

Mount St. Mary’s was able to cut the deficit to 53-40 by halftime, and a Gomes layup to begin the second half made it an 11-point game, but Ohio went on a run again.

Kirk assisted on a Taylor dunk to begin a string of 11 straight points by the Bobcats. Block connected on a 3-pointer that made it 64-42 with 16:15 remaining. From there, Mount St. Mary’s got only as close as 80-66 with 6:38 remaining.

Ohio had its season-best offensive performance, shooting 54.9 percent (39 of 71) from the field with only five turnovers. Mt. St. Mary’s shot 50 percent and had 13 turnovers.

"We had five guys in double digits tonight, so everybody eats,” Taylor said. “It's Thanksgiving. It's the most fun when you see your brothers having a good time, too."

With forwards Jason Carter, Kevin Mickle, Ben Vander Plas and A.J. Gareri all out with injuries, Ohio went with a small seven-man rotation, but still was able to hold a 35-28 rebounding advantage.

"We're down some people, but we're making it work," Laster said. "We've got a lot of guards, but we've got a lot of big guards who can do a lot of things that some of our bigs do."

Ohio hosts Iona at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Convo.

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