For the fourth straight game, Ohio took the floor, went through stretches of inept offense and sputtered as an opponent’s athleticism took over a game.

As the Bobcats tried to generate a spark with a new starting lineup and an inside-out operation offensively, they couldn’t solve EMU’s 2-3 zone, and the Eagles had no trouble with Ohio’s defense.

In this rendition, Ohio was derailed by Eastern Michigan 66-57 on Tuesday inside the Convo for possibly the Bobcats’ worst loss of the season.

The loss marks the Bobcats’ (11-12, 3-8 Mid-American Conference) third in their last 11 games against the Eagles (11-13, 5-6 MAC), and it puts a dent into any hope Ohio had of hosting a first round game of the MAC Tournament. It also puts Ohio below .500 for the first time this season.

It’s not the worst by point margin, but in a final stretch that includes trips to Akron, Kent State and Buffalo, the game against EMU could have been a stepping stone for the Bobcats. Instead, they’re left trying to find when the bleeding of a losing streak will end.

Ohio opened the game on a 12-0 run, and The Convo erupted. But that was silenced by EMU’s ability to turn the Bobcats over and generate offense on their own end. The Eagles tied the game at 16, took their first lead at 22-21 and extended it throughout the game from roughly that point.

In a game that felt different in the onset, Ohio’s quick start was a refreshing sign that the Bobcats could put their woes from the previous two weeks behind them and find a small sample of hope as they enter the final month of the season.

Eastern Michigan didn’t oblige.

The Bobcats trailed by seven at the half, but the Eagles used a run to open the second half that took any chance of an Ohio comeback out of the equation. The Bobcats suck a handful of shots in the final minute to make the game interesting and cut into the lead, but the attempt fell short.

Elijah Minnie led the Eagles with 19 points in their first road win since they topped Western Michigan, who is winless in the MAC, on Jan. 26.

Stat pack

  • The Bobcats had 15 turnovers against EMU. They’ve turned the ball over at least 10 times in each game this season.
  • Jason Carter and Teyvion Kirk led the Bobcats with 18 points.
  • Ohio shot 7-of-28 (25 percent) from 3-point range.