Ohio (1-2) was handed another big road loss Wednesday at the hands of Morehead State (2-3).
Ohio came into the matchup against Morehead State riding high after a nice win in its home opener, which saw the team take down Dayton 67-61. They would not be able to keep the momentum going after leaving Ellis T. Johnson Arena in Morehead, Kentucky, falling to the Eagles by a score of 89-60. This is Ohio’s second bad loss this season, but was for different reasons. Ohio’s first loss saw it blow a 17-point lead going into the third quarter against Appalachian State. This time, however, it was Ohio that was forced to submit a big comeback; it was unable to do so.
The first quarter saw both defenses coming through and making big impacts on the game, forcing turnovers and low-efficiency scoring. Ohio committed nine turnovers in the first quarter alone, a problem for a team that has struggled to take care of the ball through the first three games of the season. On the bright side for the Bobcats, they forced the Eagles to just 4-11 shooting from the field, and they also forced seven turnovers. The score at the end of the first 10 minutes was reflective of the defense being played, as the second quarter started with Morehead State leading 18-14.
Recurring issues for Ohio started to pop up in the second quarter. Morehead State was able to out-rebound Ohio 15-7 in the second quarter, the majority of the rebounds being on the offensive. This allowed Morehead State to shoot 22 total shots compared to Ohio’s 12. The Bobcats still held the Eagles to 40% from the field, but they still more than doubled Ohio’s made shots and tacked on four free throws in the second quarter. Ohio again struggled to take care of the ball, giving away seven turnovers. Ohio only scored 27 points in the first half compared to Morehead State’s 43, giving them a tough deficit to come back from.
The third quarter was more of the same for Ohio. Not much changed coming out of the halftime break as Ohio again committed a substantial amount of turnovers, this time with eight in the third quarter. These turnovers allowed Morehead State to steal extra possessions, which they did not squander, as they shot 55% from the field on 20 shots in the third quarter. Ohio was just again unable to match the offensive production with the turnovers playing a key reason as to why.
Morehead State took over the game in the fourth quarter on the offensive side of the ball. They shot 59% from the field and 54% from three in the second half. The Bobcat’s defense has been stout all season when it comes to opponents' shooting numbers until this game. Ohio’s typical red-hot shooting from behind the arc also came to an end today, shooting 5-24 from three.
It was an overall tough game for Ohio as they shot poorly, weren’t able to take care of the ball on offense, and were unable to slow down the hot shooting of Morehead State on the defensive side.