Ohio defeated Capital 73-49 in The Convo for Saturday’s exhibition game ahead of the first season under new coach Jeff Boals.
The Bobcats had three players finished with double digit point totals for the Bobcats and committed 14 turnovers. Jason Preston led all scorers with 17 points and shot 41% from the field. The sophomore point guard was 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Jordan Dartis and Ben Vander Plas had 13 and nine points, respectively.
Here’s a closer look at what stood out in the Bobcats’ win over the Crusaders:
Since practices started earlier in the month, Boals has been active in talking about the progress that Preston has made on the court and in the weight room during the offseason.
The sophomore point guard backed up his coach’s sentiments Saturday. He added seven rebounds, six assists and three steals to add to his 17 points, which would’ve been a career-best had it been an official game.
“(Jason) Preston is almost like Linus and his security blanket,“ Boals said. “He’s been a rock for us.“
Preston has added 12 pounds to his 6-foot-4-inch frame and should see plenty of time as a starter after he averaged six points in 22 starts last season.
He looks ready for a heavier role with the team after playing 31 minutes — second-most on Ohio — against Capital.
Impressive showing from McDay
It didn’t take long for freshman Lunden McDay to show his defense skills with his new team. The Akron native had glass-smacking block in the first half that set the pace of his game Saturday.
In his first round of action in the Convo, the 6-foot, 3-inch guard had 12 points, two assists and two rebounds.
McDay is one of six true freshmen for the Bobcats. Top freshmen Ben Roderick and Marvin Price did not play due to injuries, but McDay made the first step toward showing he can fill in their shoes with his performance against the Crusaders.
Aside from his offensive numbers, McDay also forced turnovers with his half-court press ability and trap skills in the paint.
“Lunden has been impressive all fall,“ Boals said. “He doesn’t have a bad day. He doesn’t know how good he can be.”
Foul concerns and early rebounding woes
While it was only an exhibition game and against a Division III opponent, the Bobcats had two players in foul trouble and the early struggle with defensive rebounding should be a point of emphasis for Ohio heading into Wednesday’s season debut.
Sylvester Ogbonda had four fouls and Nate Springs had three against the Crusaders in a combined 34 minutes of play.
At the end of the first half, Ohio and Capital each had 21 rebounds. Most of Capital’s came from their offensive end even though Ohio was in position to secure the ball.
“I think on the 50-50 balls and the long rebounds, they did a much better job than us of getting those,“ Boals said.
The Bobcats travel to St. Bonaventure on Tuesday to open their season Tuesday. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.