January 19, 2008
On to Ohio
Ohio University's up and down season continued last week when the Bobcats (10-6, 1-2 in the Mid-American Conference) topped Miami, 72-63, in Athens but then lost on the road at Akron, 55-54. The Bobcats enter Saturday's contest against Kent State in the same situation they found themselves in before playing the RedHawks.
"It's early in the year, but in a lot of ways the game against Miami really came down to an almost must-win for us to really keep competitive and realistic hopes of winning the East this year; so, I'm glad we were able to win on our home court," said Ohio head coach Tim O'Shea.
The Bobcats return three starters from last season's 19-13 squad but return just four letter winners from last year. The youth of the squad has provided for some inconsistent moments, but O'Shea likes where his team is headed.
"I think the new guys have fit in well, but I also think the core guys have come back and shown a lot of leadership in terms of pulling everybody into the team concept," he said. "To be 10-5 at this juncture when you look at the non-conference schedule we've played, you have to feel pretty good with where the team's at at this point."
The Bobcats are 5-0 at home this season and have won six straight in Athens dating back to last season. Kent State is the last team to have won in the Convocation Center (13,080), after posting a 73-71 win on Feb. 24, 2007.
Senior Leon Williams, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward, leads the Bobcats with 16.5 points and is first in the MAC with 9.9 rebounds per game. Junior forward Jerome Tillman, a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder, is second on the team with 13.9 points per contest.
Kent State (14-3, 3-0), winners of their last 11 of 12 games, heads to Ohio looking to extend its winning streak to five games. The Golden Flashes won at Miami, 74-62, Thursday night.
The Golden Flashes have won just eight times at Ohio (8-48 all-time) but have won two straight.
Senior forward Mike Scott leads the Golden Flashes with 13.9 points per game while senior center Haminn Quaintance pitches in with 10.6 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Al Fisher scores 11.6 points and dishes out a team-high 4.3 assists per game.
KENT STATE NOTES:
- The Golden Flashes received two votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, ranking them 39th in the country
- A win tonight would give Head Coach Jim Christian 125 for his career
- Quaintance has had a double-double in three of the past four games. Averaging 11.8 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. Quaintance also has had five straight games with at least three blocked shots
- Fisher (12.8), Scott (12.0) and Chris Singletary (12.0) also are averaging double figures during the four game winning streak
- The Golden Flashes had their best shooting night of the season in the win at Miami on Jan. 17. KSU attempted just 35 shots, but made 62.9-percent from the field. Additionally the team also achieved season highs from the free throw line with 27 makes and 35 attempts (75.0%)
- The Golden Flashes have had a player record a double-double in four straight and seven of the past eight games. Quaintance has led the charge with four "doubles" during the stretch
NEXT UP FOR KENT STATE:
- Tonight's game features four of the top seven rebounders in the MAC
- Kent State has won five straight against the Bobcats, but trails the all-time series 84-38
- The Golden Flashes lead the series 15-8 since the 1998-99 season
- Last season KSU won the two meeting by a combined four points (67-65; 73-71)
- Kent State has won two straight in Athens, but Ohio has a 48-8 all-time record at home in the series
Kent State returns to action at home on Wednesday when the Golden Flashes welcome backyard rival Akron to the M.A.C. Center.
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