Ohio picked up its second Mid-American Conference win Saturday on the road against Eastern Michigan in a 60-58 victory that featured one of the toughest first halves the Bobcats have played in this season.
The Bobcats missed their first 11 field goals of the afternoon but bounced back in the second half to defeat the Eagles for the second time this season.
Here’s the numbers that mattered:
5 - Ohio worked through one of its worst shooting halves of the season when it made only five field goals and shot 17.9% (5-for-28) in the first half. Nothing was falling for the Bobcats, but they went to halftime only down 28-21 after the Eagles struggled to make shots, too. Eastern Michigan went 10-for-32 from the field in the first half and missed an opportunity to put away Ohio before the second half could begin.
60% - The Bobcats reversed their shooting woes from the first half and shot 60% (15-for-25) from the field in the second half. Ben Vander Plas and Jason Preston carried the brunt of the work and scored a combined 36 points. Both players were the only two Bobcats who played a full 40 minutes.
18 - Ohio committed 18 turnovers, which is why Eastern Michigan hung around when the Bobcats took their second lead of the game at the 11-minute mark of the second half and first lead since the 16-minute mark of the first half. Eight of those turnovers came from Preston, who finished with seven assists but still attempted to force passes into tight windows.
23 - Noah Morgan almost single-handedly took down Ohio in the second half. The Eastern Michigan junior scored a career-high 23 points, including 18 consecutive points in the second half. No other Eagles player made a point in the final 10 minutes.
2 - The Bobcats now have two wins in the MAC — both have come against Eastern Michigan — and are no longer in last place in the East Division. Ohio still appears to be outmatched by most conference opponents, however, and can’t afford another shooting stretch as disastrous as Saturday’s first half.