Ohio defeated St. Bonaventure 65-52 on Tuesday inside the Reilly Center to give Jeff Boals his first win as coach of the Bobcats.
The Bobcats went into the half with a 32-25 lead, and their veteran players helped maintain the cushion in the second half with key plays and small, but timely scoring runs.
Here are some key numbers from the win:
19 - Points from Jordan Dartis, who played in his first game since 2018. The redshirt senior shot 7-of-14, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, and showed no signs of rust. That’s what the Bobcats will need from Dartis, who is the only senior on Ohio and will be tasked with carrying a roster that includes six true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen.
13 - Assists from Jason Preston. The sophomore was clearly the leader of Ohio’s offense Tuesday and notched a double-double by recording 11 points to his double-digit assists. Preston’s maturity from a season ago when he averaged six points per game was evident, and it’s clear that the Bobcats’ offense will revolve around Preston’s ability to move the ball and control the flow. He rarely left the floor against the Bonnies.
3 - Number of 3-pointers from St. Bonaventure, who went 3-of-19 from beyond the arc. The Bobcats deserve credit for limiting the Bonnies’ shot selection, but the inability to hit timely 3s allowed Ohio to maintain a lead for nearly the entire game. Overall, St. Bonaventure shot 20-of-55 (36.4%) from the field.
29 - Ohio lost the rebounding game 36-29. It didn’t matter much in the result, but that’s likely the biggest area of improvement Boals will look to address one game into his new gig. Preston and Sylvester Ogbunda each led Ohio with six rebounds, and Nolan Foster was second with four rebounds off the bench.
16 - Ohio has won 16 consecutive season-openers. Four coaches have been with the Bobcats in that span, and Boals couldn’t have asked for a much better performance for his first game. Ohio was unanimously selected to finish last in the Mid-American Conference East Division. It was just one game, but the Bobcats did a lot to show they have the talent to buck that prediction.