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Ohio forward Ben Vander Plas (#5) dribbles the ball during an exhibition basketball game against Capital University at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (FILE)

Men's Basketball: Fast reactions to Ohio's win over Kent State

Ohio’s unbeaten streak in The Convo is still alive. After a domineering first half, Ohio beat Kent State 80-72 on Friday night for its eighth win at home.

The Bobcats (12-2, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) were spurred on by Ben Vander Plas’ exceptional performance from beyond the arc and another high-scoring night for Mark Sears.

Here are a handful of fast reactions to Ohio’s win over Kent State:

Vander Plas sets career high for 3s

Vander Plas has struggled from 3-point range during Ohio’s winning streak. In his last six games, the redshirt senior has gone 4-for-28 from beyond the arc and never made more than one 3 per game.

But Vander Plas found a spark on Friday.

The redshirt senior drained a career-high six 3-pointers against the Flashes and ended the game with 20 points. Vander Plas wasn’t just comfortable from long range, it looked like his slump never happened. Five of his 3s came in the first half alone, and he ended the game shooting 66.7% from beyond the arc.

COVID-19 reaches the roster

Ohio was without one of its perennial starters on Friday. Miles Brown, who started in Ohio’s first 13 games of the season, was missing from the lineup due to COVID-19 protocols. In his place, Tommy Schmock earned his first start since transferring to Ohio.

Without one of its best defenders on the court, Ohio’s lead inevitably shrank in the second half. Kent State went on an 11-2 run late in the second half to cut the lead to single digits. Ohio maintained its lead and secured the win, but Kent State cut the game close. If COVID-19 reaches the rest of Ohio’s roster, it may need to shift around its roster to accommodate future losses.

Winning streaks stay alive

After Friday’s win, Ohio extended its winning streak to seven games. it blazed through the end of its nonconference schedule and has whipped its MAC opponents to maintain its longest winning streak since Jeff Boals became coach in 2019.

On top of seven straight wins, the Bobcats have yet to be defeated in The Convo this season. Ohio’s advantage at home has lasted it throughout the season, and it hasn’t slowed down since conference play began.


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