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Ohio forward Ben Roderick (3) jumps for a layup during the first half of the game against Kent State at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, OH, on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Roderick made the layup, but the Bobcats fell to the Flashes 75-52 after being behind 45-15 at the half.

Men's Basketball: Fast reactions to Ohio's Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals win over Ball State

CLEVELAND — Ohio still has some gas left in the tank.

Despite a brief lapse after tipoff, the Bobcats whipped Ball State 77-67 in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals. They exploded in the second half with multiple scoring runs and battered the Cardinals with an offensive swagger that it had been lacking before the tournament began.

The Bobcats are moving on to the MAC Tournament semifinals, and they did so in domineering fashion. Here are a few fast reactions to Ohio’s win over Ball State in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals:

Cleaned up first act

Ohio seemed to have fallen into old habits five minutes after tipoff. Its offense trudged through errant shots and inconsistency beyond the arc to keep pace with Ball State. The same problems that plagued it throughout the final weeks of the regular season reared their heads again.

The Bobcats recovered late in the first half with an 11-0 run to snatch the lead away from the Cardinals. Mark Sears, who stumbled in the opening minutes to gain a foothold, scored 10 points in the final five minutes.

Starters deliver

The Bobcats have relied heavily on their starting rotation as the season wore on, and fatigue had set in by the end of the regular season. They struggled against bottom-tier teams in the MAC like Northern Illinois and Bowling Green and ended MAC play on a three-game losing skid.

But Ohio had almost a week to rest before the MAC Tournament, and it did Ohio well.

Ohio's starting five didn't appear in midseason form, but they looked fresh in the second half. Jason Carter spearheaded Ohio's attack in the second half and scored 20 points by the end of the game.

A fresh start, but for how long

The Bobcats faced an ultimatum before Thursday's game. They could either clean up their act or bow out of the MAC Tournament to the No. 6 seed. The Bobcats annihilated the Cardinals and moved on to the semifinals.

The question remains — how long can Ohio keep it up? The competition only stiffens from here on out. Kent State, who humiliated Ohio inside in Kent in mid-February, will be its next opponent. Ohio has struggled to compete with the top teams in the MAC this season, and it needs to keep pushing if it wants to topple Kent State.

@thejackgleckler

jg011517@ohio.edu

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