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Ohio University's Rodney Culver drives to the basket during a home game against Sam Houston State at the Convocation Center on November 14, 2016. Ohio University defeated Sam Houston 96-75. "MICHAEL JOHNSON | FOR THE POST"

Basketball: Ohio cruises to 79-53 win over Bryant

Wednesday's loss was Ohio's worst performance of the season.

Saturday's win might have been its best.

Ohio shot well from the field and played stellar defense to beat Bryant 79-53 at The Convo on Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats led for more than 38 minutes and never trailed. 

"I thought we responded well," Jordan Dartis said. "Offensively was good, defensively our heads were good. Our on ball defense was a lot better, our help defense was a lot better. That's what got us this win today."

The onslaught started with a Kenny Kaminski corner three in the first minutes. Ohio never looked back.

With Bryant in a passive 2-3 zone, Ohio took advantage to the tune of 10 made 3-pointers in the first half. Ohio shot 31 total 3-point shots. 

The Bobcats also shot 42 percent from 3 — a higher percentage than they shot from the entire field.

"We were doing a good job not shooting the first open shot we saw, keeping the ball moving, knocking down some threes," Antonio Campbell said.

The shooting, and more importantly the secondary scoring, shined for Ohio. Campbell led the Bobcats in points with 23, but Dartis contributed 20 as well. Jaaron Simmons, Rodney Culver and Doug Taylor combined for 26, all of which added up to a runaway victory.

That depth shined in the form of Campbell and Taylor, who normally play apart from one another, but Saturday saw a significant amount of time on the floor together for the first time this season. It worked.

"Played like a man today," Campbell said of Taylor. "Capital M, capital A, capital N. If he can do that every night, we'll be good."

Despite the depth that has shined all season long, shooting well hasn't been necessarily enough. The Bobcats scored 88 points on Wednesday at Marshall and still lost by 10. 

In addition to the high-octane offense, Ohio (5-1) responded with, statistically, its best defensive performance of the season. Paired with the high shooting percentage and stout defense, the Bobcats came together for their biggest win of the season.

"One of the keys tonight was that we gave up 45 less points," coach Saul Phillips said jokingly. "That was important."

Phillips said Taylor and Campbell were excellent together, creating matchup problems throughout the entire afternoon for the short-handed Bulldogs. 

"They were excellent," Phillips said. "It got crowded around that hoop together in a hurry. In order to be able to play together, they've got to stay out of foul trouble. It's a short-burst thing for now, we'll continue to try to expand it, I really like playing that way."

Ohio has lived and died by its shooting the entire season. Saturday, the Bobcats had another source of life — defense. 

With good rotations and help all afternoon, Ohio held Bryant to just 36 percent shooting. For a team that just allowed a 98-point outburst, 53 points feels like the best thing in the world.

"For Jaaron, Jordy (Dartis) and Rodney in particular played outstanding individual defense. Gavin Block took three charges. The next thing you know, it's disjointed and we had the chance to point some points on them."


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