Ohio began Mid-American Conference play on Tuesday, going on the road to face Akron at James A. Rhodes Arena. Ohio put up a decent fight in the first half, but the Zips ran away with the game after halftime. Ohio (4-3, 0-1 MAC) started its conference play on a sour note, but it has until the new year to correct the mistakes from Tuesday.
Here are the numbers to know following Ohio’s 90-70 loss to Akron:
Although Ohio made several concentrated efforts to close the ever-widening gap between itself and Akron, it didn’t have the power to keep up with the Zips’ offense. The gap reached its zenith when Maishe Dailey made a layup to put Akron up over Ohio by 27 points. That’s the largest lead any team has had over Ohio this season.
The second half was a bust for Ohio. The smallest lead Akron held was the 10-point lead it had coming out of halftime. After the second half began, Akron just continued to pad its lead while Ohio struggled to muster a response of any kind.
Although the Bobcats made efforts early on to stay competitive with the Zips, they quickly fell by the wayside as they fell further behind. The Zips lead for 91.9 percent of the game, only interrupted when Ohio managed to tie the game twice in the first half.
When compared to games against Illinois and even Marshall, the Bobcats played like a different team. Ohio seemed two steps behind Akron and couldn’t pull off any significant runs in order to keep pace.
The Bobcats shooting troubles have been the death of them in recent weeks. The past two games have not been kind to the Bobcats’ shooting percentage, where they had shooting percentages lower than 42%, and their first half against Purdue Northwest only managed a 45.4 percentage from the field.
Ohio has the talent to shoot well. It’s done so against Cleveland State and even cleaned up its act against Purdue Northwest to steal the win. It’s a regular occurrence for Ohio to have a shooting percentage well over 50%, but the shots haven’t fallen in Ohio’s favor against Marshall and Akron.
If Ohio has any major weakness this season, it’s away games. The Bobcats are now 0-3 when on the road, and each loss has been worse than the last. From going toe-to-toe with Illinois and now being blown out by Akron, something has plagued the Bobcats’ road trips.
After his absence from the games against Marshall and Purdue Northwest, Ben Roderick returned against the Zips, albeit not in his usual spot among the starting five. Despite this, Roderick was a welcome return to the lineup. He scored 10 points for the Bobcats, one of only four to crack double digits for Ohio on Tuesday. The sophomore also sunk back-to-back 3s to shrink Ohio’s deficit to 10 points going in to halftime.
If there’s one bright spot for Ohio after Tuesday, it’s that Ben Roderick is back.