Ohio’s disappointing start to Mid-American Conference play hit its lowest point Tuesday as Ohio was run out of the gym by Toledo.
While the Bobcats (9-9, 1-4 MAC) have started conference play with a tough run of games, they had been playing their opponents close until Tuesday’s trip to Savage Arena.
It was clear from the opening tip that the Bobcats do not belong among the MAC’s elite, as the Rockets took control early and never allowed the Bobcats within touching distance.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s wire-to-wire blowout at the hands of Toledo:
The Rockets did all they could to set the tone early, scoring the first 13 points of the game and immediately putting the Bobcats on their heels. It was one of two first-half runs of at least 10 unanswered points for Toledo.
That 13-0 to start the game and an 11-0 run a few minutes later put Toledo up 26-7 just over seven minutes into the game. After another Toledo 3-pointer, Ohio found itself facing a 20-point deficit before the first half was even halfway over, and it might as well have gotten an early start on the trip back to Athens.
27.2% was the difference between Ohio’s 3-point percentage and Toledo’s. Ohio hit just 6-of-24 3-pointers, good for 25%, while Toledo knocked down 12-of-23, or 52.2%. The difference from beyond the arc explains why Ohio lost by 15 points despite making only one fewer field goal than Toledo.
That 25% is tied for Ohio’s third-worst 3-point shooting performance of the season, and one thing has become painfully clear for Ohio. When it does not shoot well from deep, it will probably not win.
The Bobcats are now 0-6 in games in which they shoot below 30% from beyond the arc, and 9-3 when they shoot above 30%.
If there was one bright spot for Ohio, it was the play of Elmore James. He played 28 minutes, his highest total of the season, and scored a career-high 21 points. He was 8-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from the 3-point range.
Most of his minutes came once the Bobcats were already out of the game, but on a night as disappointing as Tuesday was, they will take any silver lining they can get. James’ performance certainly provides that, and it is a good sign that he was able to rebound after being ejected last Tuesday against Ball State.