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Injury-plagued Bobcats fall to Falcons, 66-50

Ohio shoots just 20.7 percent in 1st half

BOWLING GREEN – Injury-riddled Ohio shot just 32.8 percent, including 20.7 percent in the first half, as Bowling Green rolled to a 66-50 victory Tuesday night at the Stroh Center.

The Falcons (13-9, 4-5 Mid-American Conference) ran out to a 41-19 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way. Demajeo Wiggins led Bowling Green with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Antwon Lillard had 13 points and eight boards.

Teyvion Kirk led the Bobcats (9-12, 2-7 MAC) with 20 points and seven rebounds. No other Ohio players reached double figures. Gavin Block and James Gollon both scored 8 points.

"We had one assist in the first half,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. “We had three assists on the game. We worked on a bunch of things in practice, and none of them had to do with creating for your own self off the dribble.”

Bowling Green scored the game’s first eight points, and Ohio did not get on the board until Kirk put back his own miss more than three minutes into the game. The Bobcats went scoreless for four and a half minutes in the middle of the half during a 9-0 run that extended the Falcons’ lead to 21-6.

Ohio did not reach double figures until a Gollon basket with 6:36 in the half made it 29-11. A 10-2 Bowling Green run to close the half extended its advantage to 22 points.

The Bobcats got as close as 16 early in the second half before the Falcons pushed their lead to as much as 23. Ohio then had its best run of the night, scoring nine straight to get to within 54-40 at the midway point of the second half, but it did not score again for four minutes and scored only once in more than eight minutes.

The offense struggles came against a Bowling Green team that had surrendered nearly 93 points per game over its previous three.

“We were extremely impatient, sloppy with the basketball at times,” Phillips said. “Outlets to the other team, post feeds to the other team. It's real simple. We can be good if we start to execute offensively as we do daily in practice. Why that translation hasn't been made? Boy, if I knew, it would be fixed."

Ohio made just 2 of 17 3-pointers, including an 0 for 7 by Block. While Kirk managed 20 points, he was only 7-of-18 shooting from the field and his 5-of-12 free-throw performance contributed to a 10-of-20 night for the Bobcats.

The team’s leading scorer entering the night, Mike Laster, hampered by a shoulder injury, scored just 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting. Jordan Dartis, who aggravated a hip injury and later was using crutches, made just 1 of 4 attempts in 19 minutes, and Kevin Mickle, playing with a torn meniscus, was 2 for 8. Zach Butler left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury and was wearing a sling on the bench in the second half.

Ohio coach Saul Phillips said Dartis and Butler both need more evaluation. If they are unable to play, the Bobcats would be down to Kirk, Mickle, Laster, Doug Taylor, Block, Gollon, Ellis Dozier and freshman A.J. Gareri as the only available scholarship players. Dozier barely has played in his three years, Gareri has played in only 46 minutes since recovering from an injury. Mickle, Laster and Block (bruised pelvis) are playing despite being banged up. Sophomore Jason Carter and freshman Bennett Vander Plas likely will receive redshirts this season.

The Bobcats host Central Michigan at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at The Convo.

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