LEXINGTON, Ky. — Ohio lost its first game of the season 77-59 to No. 13 Kentucky in Rupp Arena on Friday night.
The Bobcats had lofty ambitions, and the Wildcats shot them down. The No. 13 team in the nation outrebounded, outshot and outplayed the Bobcats to hand them their first loss of the season. A competitive first half was overshadowed by a second half loaded with missed shots.
Here are a few reactions to Ohio’s loss to No. 13 Kentucky:
Can’t get rebounds
Ohio wasn’t just beaten at the boards, it was stomped out. Kentucky out rebounded Ohio 53-17 by the end of the game.
The Wildcats scored 19 points off rebounds Friday night, but also fought the Bobcats tooth and nail for rebounds. The Bobcats earned just six rebounds in the second half, and were beaten around all night.
Kentucky coach John Calipari expressed concern about Ohio’s ability to rack up 3-pointers ahead of Friday’s game.
He was right to worry for the first few minutes.
In the opening three minutes, Ohio couldn’t miss from beyond the arc. It sank its first three 3-point attempts and shot over 50% from beyond the arc until well over halfway through the first half. Ben Vander Plas, Ohio’s regular shooter from long range, ended the night making 3-of-5 of his 3-point attempts.
But the accuracy stopped there. The Bobcats missed 16 of their 3-point attempts and shot 30% from beyond the arc in the second half. Vander Plas missed both of his 3-point attempts after halftime.
Big three on offense
Ohio’s offense has survived this season on the shoulders of Vander Plas, Jason Carter and Mark Sears. That didn’t change against Kentucky. All three scored in double digits and Vander Plas lead Ohio with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists.
It wasn’t enough. Ohio scored just 21 points in the second half behind four players. Vander Plas and Carter were held to just six points apiece and Sears didn’t make a single basket in the second half.