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Men's Basketball: Freeman breaks 3-point record in Bobcat victory

            The Bobcats played like the team that wrestles on the mats underneath The Convo rather than the squad usually on the arena's main stage.

            With D.J. Cooper's ankle still not at full strength and a stifling Bowling Green 2-3 zone, Ohio found other ways to pull out its 70-60 win Wednesday night. Through defense and rebounding, the Bobcats deviated from the free-flowing offense usually seen on The Convo floor.

            "It wasn't necessarily a pretty game," coach John Groce said. "But we grinded it out, and that's important in February. A lot of games come down to toughness and finding a way."

            Noticeably slowed by the Falcon zone, Ohio worked for its points through a variety of sources. Opportunistic 3-pointers from Tommy Freeman - who became Ohio's career 3-point leader at the 18:56 mark of the first half - pumped offensive life into the Bobcats.

            Although his record-breaker was significant, the one he made with 5:26 to play perhaps made the biggest impact on the game's outcome. After Freeman's initial miss, Reggie Keely pulled down the rebound and kicked it back to him in the corner. Freeman calmly sunk the 3-pointer to make the score 52-47.

            "He's a good shooter and finds ways to get open," said Bowling Green coach Louis Orr. "When you do something well, you find ways to keep doing it."

            Keely struck again a few minutes later, tipping the ball in off a Cooper miss to give Ohio a 60-52 lead. Bowling Green's Scott Thomas came back with a 3-pointer, but a DeVaughn Washington slam from Ivo Baltic pass made the score 62-55.                                            Washington and Keely combined for 24 of Ohio's 42 rebounds as the Bobcats dominated on the glass. The Bobcats pulled in 18 offensive rebounds compared to Bowling Green's 19 defensive rebounds.

            "That was a big emphasis on the game plan," Keely said. "To get the win, we knew we we're going to have to step it up on both sides with rebounds."

            The Bobcats started out strong as Freeman, Washington and Nick Kellogg paced the early offensive success. Jumping out to a 28-17 lead, the offense began to falter as the Falcon zone became more aggressive. Bowling Green pulled out to a 32-30 lead off Dee Brown jumper at the buzzer.

            After missing his initial attempt at the record, Freeman broke Dave Jamerson's school-record of 239 after Kellogg hit him with a skip pass over the Falcon defense. Wide-open near the corner, he nailed his record-breaking 3-pointer with his usual smooth flick of the wrist.

            "When I shot that first one, I kind of heard the crowd begin to cheer," a smiling Freeman said. "It was good to get it out of the way and just focus on the game."

            An elated Freeman also harped on the Bobcats' progress since the first MAC stretch. Ohio has gone 7-2 since losing to Buffalo Jan. 22.

            "We just got to stay hungry," Freeman said. "We've gotten a lot closer since that first Buffalo game. We've come to practice everyday with the mindset that we're going to get better."


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