Welcome Guest!
Create an Account
login email:
site searchwhere to watchcontact usabout usadvertise with ushelp
Ohio Basketball
   >> News Stories Archive
Ohio wins back-to-back MAC games for first time this year

Preston nearly posts another triple-double in win over WMU

ATHENS – Jason Preston followed up a triple-double performance by nearly nabbing another, finishing three assists shy of the milestone as Ohio won its second game in a row for the first time in Mid-American Conference play with a 73-61 victory against Western Michigan on Tuesday night at The Convo.

Preston tallied 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and while he had seven turnovers in Saturday’s triple-double against, Miami, he had only one Tuesday. Ben Vander Plas had 19 points and nine boards, and Jordan Dartis scored 15 points and had six steals for the Bobcats (12-12, 4-7 MAC).

Michael Flowers led the Broncos (11-13, 4-7 MAC) with 21 points. Rafael Cruz Jr. added 10 points off the bench.

"I thought our guys played with great intensity and a great effort level," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "We were the aggressor and I think that's why we won.”

After trailing 31-26 at halftime and seven early in the second half following a Preston one-handed follow-up dunk, Western Michigan used a 7-0 run to tie the game, knotting the score at 35 on B. Artis White’s 3-pointer with 14:40 remaining. Ohio answered back with seven straight points of its down – all of them by Preston – to regain control.

Each time the Broncos got close again, the Bobcats responded. Jared Printy’s 3-pointer with 11:09 to go made it 44-42, but Vander Plas scored on the next possession. Patrick Emilien made a layup with 8:40 remaining, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 49-46, but Ohio got a Dartis 3-pointer to double its cushion.

From then on, Ohio’s advantage stayed at six or more. Western Michigan was down 56-50 with four minutes remaining when the Bobcats’ final push put the game away. A Preston layup, two Ben Roderick free throws and then a single free throw by Vander Plas and two by Dartis extended the advantage to 63-50 with 2:11 to go.

Early on, the Bobcats struggled offensively and fell into a 16-9 hole following a Flowers jumper with 7:28 left in the half. Dartis hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and a Preston layup following a Miles Brown steal put Ohio on top.

“To start the game, shots weren't falling and so you have to defend and rebound,” Boals said. “I thought our ball pressure was phenomenal. I thought our press killed the clock, and I thought our post double teams took them out of what they did in game one.”

Leading by one late in the first half, the Bobcats got two Connor Murrell free throws and then a Preston basket just before the break to go up by five.

Ohio was active defensively, forcing 18 turnovers, turning them into 17 points. That made up for a subpar shooting night from the outside. The Bobcats were just 5 of 21 from long range, whereas the Broncos were 8 of 18. Overall, Ohio shot 42.4% to Western Michigan’s 40.7%.

When Western Michigan beat Ohio 77-65 to begin MAC play Jan. 4, Brandon Johnson, Artis White and Titus Wright combined for 52 points, but this time, they totaled only 19 points between the three of them.

“Big key coming in was not fouling them and putting them on the line,” Boals said. “That's a huge part of their offense. I thought our guys carried the game plan out perfectly."

The Bobcats face Kent State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.

Copyright ©2021 BobcatAttack.com. All rights reserved.  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties