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Shereef Mitchell (4) Guard position on Ohio Univeristy's Mens Basketball team shoots an open three pointer at The Convo, in Athens, Ohio on Dec. 6, 2023.

Men’s Basketball: Ohio falls to Toledo in its opening night of Mid-American Conference play

From the opening tip, Ohio proved it was not its night at home in The Convo. Toledo began the game with a 13-0 run and mostly dominated on its way to an 86-77 victory over Ohio. 

Ohio came into the new year having lost four of its last five games and could not get on the right track against Toledo, a team Ohio has not beaten during the regular season since 2016. After Tuesday’s loss, Ohio now sits at 6-7, the first time all season in which the team holds a losing record. 

Despite starting the game down in a 13-0 hole, Ohio was able to claw its way back with a 10-0 run after a Jeff Boals timeout. Ohio gained its first lead of the game at 20-19 at the 9:27 mark of the first half after an Ajay Sheldon 3-pointer that capped a 20-6 run for Ohio. This, however, was as good as it would get for the Bobcats. 

Ohio’s struggles in the first half were headlined by a lack of contribution from the team's leading scorer, Jaylin Hunter, who ended the half with three points on a 1-5 shooting effort. 

Heading into halftime, Ohio trailed Toledo 38-32. The Bobcats would not hold the lead for any part of the second half. 

Coming out of the locker room, Ohio struggled in the first 5-minutes of the second half, just as it had to open the game. In the first 2:05 of the half, Toledo was able to extend its halftime lead to nine points after a 7-2 run. 

Ohio’s perimeter defense excelled in the first half by not allowing a single 3-pointer to fall for the Toledo offense. The Bobcats could not keep this trend going in the second half as the Rockets knocked down five of their nine shots from beyond the arc in the half. 

Toledo held a lead as large as 13 in the second half, one that Ohio could not overcome. 

A bright spot for the Bobcats was a career shooting night for Sophomore Ajay Sheldon, who had a career-high 13 points that included four 3-pointers on only five attempts. 

Toledo had no problems scoring in the paint against Ohio with 40 of its 86 points from that range. The Rockets had five players in double figures, highlighted by 18-point nights from both Ra’Heim Morris and Dan Maddox Jr. 

The 86 points from Toledo is the most that Ohio has surrendered in a game since the double-overtime game against George Washington on November 24 in the Bahamas. Against Toledo, Ohio gave up more points within regulation than it has to any other team all season. 

Ohio seems to be sputtering at the wrong time, having lost five of its last six games and is heading into an important stretch of conference games. 


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