Ohio (11-8, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) defeated Ball State (11-9, 2-5 MAC) on Saturday afternoon in The Convo.
The win gives Ohio its second consecutive at home and overall, which looms large with a trip to Northern Illinois upcoming on Tuesday. Ohio now finds itself in the thick of the MAC East, looking to keep pace with Bowling Green and Buffalo.
Here are three stats that defined Ohio’s come-from-behind win:
Jason Carter, Ohio’s bonafide best scoring option, was held to zero points in the first half, an oddity for such a good player. But that jaw-dropping stat must have woken Carter up, because he opened the second half with 12 points in the first five minutes of the half.
This scoring outburst helped Ohio rally to take the lead, and forced Ball State to tense up; the Cardinals found themselves in a close game, thanks to Carter’s performance early in the second half. He finished the game with 16 points, lifting Ohio.
Ball State seemed to never miss a 3 Saturday afternoon. Tayler Persons, who had a game-high 21 points, led the charge. He connected on three 3-pointers, and shots beyond the arc nearly lifted the Cardinals to a win. But the Bobcats knocked down crucial 3s of their own, including two by Gavin Block to give Ohio two separate leads, the most notable coming with fewer than 40 second remaining.
The Cardinals came in shooting only 35.4 percent from 3 for the season, but found a way to hit all the 3s, which almost were enough to win on the road.
Field goals by Gavin Block in the second half. Block finished the game with 13 points, and his second-half 3s were hit in the most dramatic fashion. His final shot of the day was a pump-fake, step and dribble 3-pointer to give the Bobcats a two-point lead with under a minute to play, eventually proving to be the game-winning shot. For Ohio’s long-term success, Block will have to continue what he did Saturday.