Ohio kicked off the Bobcat Battle with a game against Eastern Illinois on Friday afternoon. Ohio (2-3, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) walked into The Convo on a losing streak after losing to Michigan in overtime Nov. 20, however, Ohio bucked the trend and left with a 78-67 victory.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s win Friday:
A.J. Brown, number 24, made his long-awaited season debut Friday. The freshman from Orlando, Florida, played nine minutes and collected three points for the Bobcats. Brown also snagged one rebound.
Brown is one of Ohio’s token freshmen. He chose Ohio over Clemson, Penn State, Alabama and Yale. The guard will make an impact on Ohio’s rotation once he adjusts to college play.
Ohio has struggled from the 3-point line this season. It has only shot above 50% in one instance — against Cleveland State — and it has yet to find its groove beyond the arc. On Friday, Ohio went 12-for-29 from 3-point range. It wasn’t Ohio’s worst performance this season, but it still wasn’t great.
The bright spots were Miles Brown, who went 4-for-4, and Ben Roderick, who went 3-for-5. However, there were also dark spots. DeVon Baker went 0-for-6 and Jaylin Hunter went 1-for-6.
The Bobcats are not a 3-point shooting team historically, though. Last season, they never shot higher than 48% from beyond the arc. The Bobcats have only improved slightly since they achieved that percentage in mid-February last year.
Ohio held its opponent to 67 points Friday, the least amount of points it has allowed thus far in the season. The defense was strong as it created 15 turnovers, which Ohio churned out 25 points off of. In comparison, Ohio had 12 turnovers.
The Bobcats were quick on their feet, too. The speed at which they played helped keep the defense alive. Brown had five steals, while A.J. Clayton, Baker and Hunter each had one.
The Bobcats’ agility came into play in rebounding, too. They collected 42 rebounds, which turned into 18 second-chance points. Dwight Wilson III led the way with eight rebounds, and Clayton followed him with seven.
Rebounding is going to be key as long as Ohio still has busted 3-point shooting. If Ohio can stay near the rim, chances are it will find a way to score, even if the initial shot doesn’t go in. Clayton and Wilson are going to be important this season.