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Ohio erases deficit but goes cold again in loss to LSU

Bobcats miss first 11 field goals, shoot just 26% overall

BATON ROUGE, La. – Ohio missed its first 11 shots, rallied to tie the game early in the second half and then went cold again, losing 66-51 to undefeated LSU on Wednesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

In total, the Bobcats (5-2) shot just 26% in the game. Ben Vander Plas knocked down four 3-pointers to score 12 points. Mark Sears scored 11 points, and Jason Carter finished with 10 points, but they were just a combined 12-for-45 shooting.

Tari Eason led the Tigers (8-0) with 20 points, five rebounds and five steals, while Darius Days added 12 points and 13 rebounds.

LSU jumped out to a 14-0 lead while Ohio was ice cold to start the game. Carter followed up a missed Sears 3-pointer to finally get the Bobcats on the board more than eight minutes into the game, but the Tigers extended their advantage to 21-3 on a Xavier Pinson layup at the 9:25 mark.

The Tigers led by the same margin at 29-11 when the Bobcats temporarily found their shooting touch over the final two and a half minutes of the half. They got three straight 3-pointers from Sears, Carter and AJ Clayton to cut their deficit in half.

LSU led 34-22 at the break, and then Ohio once more got back-to-back 3-pointers from Vander Plas and Miles Brown to get within six. After a Mwani Wilkinson triple, Vander Plas hit three straight attempts from long range to even the score at 37 with 14:07 remaining.

Shots stopped falling again after that, and LSU began to pull away, taking the lead for good on a Day free throw.

After the Tigers went up by 10, a Clayton 3-pointer got the Bobcats to within 51-44 with 4:53 to go, but a 7-0 LSU run in the next 1:30, with Easton scoring five of those points, put it away.

Ohio shot the ball decently outside the arc, going 12 of 36 in the game, but it was just 6 of 32 on 2-pointers. The Bobcats made only 3 of 6 free throws, compared to 16 of 19 by the Tigers, who were an efficient 19 of 31 inside the arc and outscored Ohio in the paint 36-12.

Sharp-shooter Ben Roderick’s struggles to start the season continued with a 1-of-6 3-point performance bringing his season total to 17.6%. Lunden McDay sat out for a second straight game.

While it was killed on the boards on its other loss of the season at Kentucky, Ohio competed in that aspect Wednesday with a 43-37 deficit, led by Carter with nine rebounds.

Saint Francis visits The Convo for Ohio’s next game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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