KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Ohio’s first game in its Mid-American Conference schedule is in the books. After a sloppy first half, Ohio managed to pull ahead of Western Michigan for a 59-47 victory in University Arena.
The Bobcats (10-2, 1-0 MAC) shot 36.5 percent from the field, but were led to their 10th win of the season by performances from Jason Carter and Mark Sears.
Here are a few quick reactions to Ohio’s first conference win of the season:
Poor shooting in the first half
Ohio’s recent trend of beginning games with a poor shooting performance extended another game. In the first half, the Bobcats shot 36.4% from the field and were just 2-for-13 from 3-point range.
In recent games, the Bobcats have noticed this trend during games and been able to shake the poor shooting in the closing minutes of the first half. Saturday, however, they were sluggish until halftime. They didn’t make a 3-pointer until almost 12 minutes into the game, and never shot above 40% from the field.
Top scorers continue to dominate
Sears and Carter continues to prove why they’re Ohio’s two leading scorers this season. The duo combined for 38 points against the Broncos on Saturday. For much of the first half, the two carried Ohio on their backs. Until Ben Vander Plas sank Ohio’s first 3-pointer of the game, Carter and Sears were the only two Bobcats with points on the board.
Vander Plas ended Saturday’s game with nine points, behind only Sears and Carter.
Not a great start to MAC play
Ohio has had close shaves before. Its nonconference matchups against the likes of St. Francis and Marshall were cut too close for comfort. Saturday felt all too similar. Ohio lagged early and had to pull itself together in the second half.
The Bobcats were never out of control, but their 10th win of the season was a bad foot to begin their MAC schedule on. If it can’t pull away from Western Michigan until the second half, how will it fare when the top contenders in the MAC come knocking?