Ohio ended its three-game road trip with a 74-56 comeback win over Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Saturday.
The Bobcats (21-4, 12-2 Mid-American Conference) tripped up in the first half, starting out slow and not shooting with the efficiency needed to jump ahead of the Eagles (8-16, 3-10 MAC). However, they regrouped after halftime and exploded for 49 points in the second half.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio's win over Eastern Michigan:
Ohio fell flat in the first half. It didn't make a field goal for over two minutes after tipoff, and it allowed Eastern Michigan to sprint ahead with a 17-5 scoring run midway through the half. Ohio didn't shoot well enough to respond. It went 8-of-25 from the field before the break and scored just 25 points in the first half. For the third time in three games, Ohio trailed at halftime.
It didn't take long for a turnaround to surface. The Bobcats blew open the second half with an 18-4 run and ripped the Eagles out of the lead. Tommy Schmock nailed a 3-pointer to put the Bobcats ahead with 13 minutes left in the game, but the Bobcats didn't stop there. They shot 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc after halftime, and they ended the game with an 18-point margin of victory.
When Ohio needs someone to keep up production on offense, it calls on Miles Brown. The junior isn't Ohio's leading scorer or the leading scorer on Saturday, but Brown provided what Ohio lacked. His 15 points and 12 rebounds — the first double-double of his career — gave Ohio a bolster on offense while it struggled to keep up with the Eagles before halftime.
While the rest of the Bobcats were shooting blanks after tipoff, Brown put up a pair of 3-pointers and a layup in three minutes of work. Brown was the only Bobcat to make a 3-pointer before halftime, and he scored 10 of their 25 points in the first half.
Mark Sears continues to impress. The five-time MAC Player of the Week scored 27 points against the Eagles and shot 50% from the field on Saturday. Although he'd been held to just seven points at the half, Sears broke open in the second half alongside the rest of the Bobcats and beat the Eagles into submission. Saturday was Sears' 13th game in which he scored 20 points or more.
With its second win over Eastern Michigan in hand, Ohio has officially clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament. There are just six regular season games standing between Ohio and its trip to Cleveland, but there are more important matters to address.
The Bobcats are tired. Dead tired.
They just wrapped up their most demanding stretch of games all season. Six games stuffed into two weeks is a massive workload, and the Bobcats have looked exhausted for much of the past week. Aside from the loss to Toledo on Tuesday, they've been able to work through the fatigue. But now that the regular season is ticking down, the Bobcats are going to need all the time they can get to decompress from six games in such a short span.