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Balanced Ohio pulls away from Wilberforce in opener

Carter, Kirk scored 17; Carter adds 16 points, 13 rebounds

ATHENS – Jason Carter and Teyvion Kirk each scored 17 points, while Ben Vander Plas added 16 points as Ohio rolled to a 97-61 victory against NAIA Wilberforce in its basketball season opener Wednesday night at The Convo.

After struggling in Ohio’s exhibition victory against Rio Grande, Jason Preston scored 10 points with five rebounds and three steals, while Antonio Cowart Jr. had a complete game with nine points, five assists and four rebounds. Carter added 13 rebounds and four assists, and Doug Taylor grabbed 11 rebounds with six points and four blocks.

The Bobcats led 48-29 at halftime and outscored the Bullodgs 49-32 in the second half.

Guards Jordan Dartis and James Gollon missed the game with injuries and both are expected to miss substantial time.

Even without them, Ohio showed depth. Vander Plas, a redshirt freshman forward who missed last season with an injury, needed only 17 minutes off the bench to grab eight rebounds in addition to his scoring. Freshman forward scored seven points with four rebounds, while freshman guard Torey James had six points and four assists. Gavin Block scored five points while playing just 17 minutes.

The Bobcats shot 48.8 percent despite making just 6 of 24 3-pointers but managed 80 shot attempts with the help of 24 offensive rebounds, including seven by Carter.

Ohio scored the game’s first 11 points and did not give up a basket until over five and a half minutes into the first half. The Bobcats also had a 12-0 run near the end of the first half.

Terence Gholston led Wilberforce with 15 points, while Malik Timmons and Jabril Hunter had 10 each.

Ohio hosts Campbell at 7 p.m. Monday at The Convo.

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