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Balanced Bobcats roll past Red Storm

Ohio holds Rio Grande to 28.6% shooting in 1st half

ATHENS Ohio had seven players score nine or more points and coasted to a 90-51 victory against Rio Grande on Wednesday night at The Convo.

Ben Vander Plas, Sylvester Ogbonda and Marvin Price had 14 points apiece to lead the Bobcats (6-3). Mason McMurray scored 12 points, Jason Preston had 11 points, and Lunden McDay and Nolan Foster scored nine points each.

"We wanted to come out and set the tone for the game," Ohiocoach Jeff Boals said. "We were up one going into the first timeout and the second four minutes we came out and out intensity was much better. I think we ended up with nine kills in the game, which for us is three stops in a row. Anytime that happens you are winning the game. I thought our defensive intensity was really good for the most part."

Ohio led 51-20 at halftime, and the bench saw plenty of time in the second half. The Bobcats shot 58.7%, including 65.6% in the first half when the NAIA Red Storm (6-4) shot just 28.6%.

Rio Grande led 6-4 when Ohio started to dominate. Already leading 19-10, the Bobcats went on a 16-1 run to go up by 24 with 6:29 remaining in the first half. They also closed the half on a 12-3 run.

Ohio used a second-half 16-0 run to take an 84-39 lead with 5:23 remaining.

The bad news for the Bobcats was an injury early in the game to Jordan Dartis, who tried to return but came back out shortly thereafter. It comes after freshman Ben Roderick had hand surgery that will cause him to miss a month or longer.

Led by Ogbonda with eight rebounds, Ohio had a 38-28 advantage on the boards. Preston dished out 13 assists with only two turnovers. Price, who is in line to see an increased role with Roderick out, had five rebounds and three steals.

Gunner Short had 17 points to lead the Red Storm, but no one else for Rio Grande had more than six points.

Ohio hosts Tennessee Tech at 2 p.m. Sunday at The Convo.

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