Doug Taylor screamed as The Convo erupted around him.
As 5,554 fans screamed around him, Taylor stared down the court and yelled. It was one of the few moments on Friday night the senior big man could enjoy his Senior Night. Still, his dunk with 2:20 to go helped seal Ohio’s 66-57 win over arch-rival Miami in The Convo.
On a night where Saul Phillips’ future was put into question in what could be his last game in Athens, Taylor and the senior class put the questions on mute. Instead, they made sure their coach would only have happy memories when reflecting on the close to the 2018-19 regular season.
The win marks the Bobcats first of the season against Miami and avoids the first loss in the Phillips era in The Convo to their rival.
In the second half against Miami, Ohio started to find offensive rhythm. Ben Vander Plas threw down a slam with 11:53 to go to bring it within a point. Antonio Cowart banked in a 3 with 4:13 to play, which gave Ohio its first lead of the night.
The lead lasted just three seconds, but the Bobcats (14-16, 6-12 MAC) retained it for good when Jason Carter scored a layup off a Miami turnover. In a season where they’ve struggled to succeed at the free-throw line, Ohio finished the game 22-of-26 from the charity stripe.
In the first meeting of the season between the two teams, the RedHawks (15-16, 7-11 MAC) shot the ball better and just looked like the better team. All was different Friday night in The Convo. Miami had its worst offensive outing of the season. Taylor made sure Bam Bowman didn’t control the paint, containing him to just three points and shooting 1-of-15 from the floor.
Ohio shot 31 percent in the first half, 9-of-29 from the floor, and struggled to find any production. The RedHawks opened the game on a 7-0, and were led by Nike Sibande’s 14 first half points.
- Jason Carter finished with a career-high 26 points in the win.
- The RedHawks shot 28 percent from the field.
- Ohio was out rebounded 44-38, but scored 28 points in the paint.
Now, the Bobcats must win Monday’s game at Northern Illinois to keep their season alive. A win would also push back the talks of Phillips’ future until later in the week.