Jason Carter scored 17 points as Ohio lost to Xavier 82-61 on Wednesday night at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
Freshman Jason Preston scored a career-high nine points and four rebounds for Ohio (5-3) and Teyvion Kirk had 11 points in 33 minutes.
Ohio and Xavier met for the first time since 2008, renewing a rivalry which the Bobcats led 20-14 heading into Wednesday night’s game. It’s the only non-Mid-American Conference Division I Ohio school the Bobcats will play this season.
Here are three takeaways from the Ohio loss:
Headed into Wednesday night games, questions were starting to be asked why Preston was in the starting rotation. He hadn’t scored many points, and coach Saul Phillips claimed that what he does for the Bobcats can’t be seen on the stat sheet.
In the first half, Preston didn’t do anything significant on the box score or on the court. Then, it seemed he finally hit the switch. Preston scored all nine of his points in the second half, including a 3-pointer.
Ohio is now 0-3 on the season on the road. While the two games in Jamaica were neutral site games, they were away from The Convo. Xavier was the first true road test of the season, and the Bobcats couldn’t hold on to their lead down the stretch.
The factors in that include inexperience and the multitude of first-year starters getting time. Sooner or later, they’ll have to win a game on the road.
Missing pieces show
It’s a broken record by now that it’s December, but without Jordan Dartis and James Gollon, Ohio’s struggled to hit the 3. But Wednesday night at the Cintas Center, the leadership could’ve been used down the stretch.
There is no timetable, but if one of them could come back before conference play, it would be a well-needed boost for the Bobcats.
Ohio returns to the confines of The Convo to play Radford on Saturday. Radford entered the week receiving AP Top 25 votes, while the Bobcats are undefeated at home this season.
Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.