Ohio lost at Northern Illinois 71-60 on Tuesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. The loss continues the Bobcats’ struggles on the road; Ohio’s only won one road game all season long. It was the second time this season that Ohio lost to the Huskies, finishing 0-2 in the season series. Most importantly, Ohio dropped to 3-5 in Mid-American Conference play. Tuesday night was a chance to get to .500 in conference play for the first time all season.
Here are some important numbers from Ohio’s loss to Northern Illinois:
36 — percent from the field for the night. Ohio shot 20-of-56, but coach Saul Phillips said in his postgame radio interview that his players graded out well on shot selection. Yet again down the stretch Ohio lost because its offensive production struggled and thus the Bobcats couldn’t pull out a win on the road.
14 — points from the bench. When the Bobcats are at their best, the starting five is producing, but even more the bench is scoring over 20 points per game. Ohio’s been forced to adjust to life without James Gollon, but it can’t allow to use his absence as an excuse. In the Bobcats’ win Saturday, Jason Preston scored 10 points and Ben Vander Plas had seven. Each just had five points in the loss to Northern Illinois.
1 — Jason Carter took just one shot over the last 10:33 in Tuesday’s game. While he still scored 15 points, when Ohio needed a shooter to step up and lead it to victory, Carter didn’t do so. After Saturday’s win against Ball State when Carter did that, it was thought that he may have been turning the corner. When the Bobcats needed him most Tuesday night, he didn’t step up.
9 — total assists among Ohio players. While Phillips may be content with the shot selection he saw Tuesday night, the Bobcats dished out only nine assists, while the Huskies had 15. Even when shots aren’t falling, which they weren’t throughout the second half of Tuesday’s loss, assists usually mean shots are setup to be even more simple.
21 — missed 3-pointers. Phillips said that for Ohio to win basketball games it at least has to be a below average 3-point team. The Bobcats weren't that Tuesday night, they were just bad.