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Bobcats score final 21 points of 1st half in blowout of Cardinals

Ohio holds Ball State without a field goal for nearly 14 minutes

ATHENS – Ohio scored the final 21 points of the first half as part of an even bigger run in an 87-63 blowout victory of Ball State on Tuesday night at The Convo.

The Cardinals went without a field goal for nearly 14 minutes as the Bobcats outscored them 31-1, turning a tie game into a 54-24 lead five minutes into the second half.

Ben Vander Plas and Jason Carter finished with 18 points each, while Mark Sears had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.

A basket by Tyler Cochran tied the game at 23 with 8:38 remaining in the first half, but Ball State (10-11, 5-5 Mid-American Conference) missed its next 18 field goal attempts, only scoring a Payton Sparks free throw to start the second half in that span. Finally, with 14:57 remaining, Sparks threw down a dunk to end the drought.

Ohio’s biggest lead came a short time later on a Sears 3-pointer that made it 59-28.

The Bobcats (17-3, 8-1 MAC) were able to substitute frequently in the second half, giving minutes to 13 different players, including walk-ons.

Jalen Windham led Ball State with 17 points. Sparks finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Ball State shot just 38.5% for the game, including 29.2% in the first half. Ohio finished over 50% by making 30 of 59 attempts, including 10 of 23 3-pointers.

For the second straight game, the Bobcats were without injured Ben Roderick. Sam Towns started and scored six points.

Ohio has its best record through 20 games in program history.

The Bobcats remain home to face Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Convo.

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