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Miles Brown (2) during the Men's basketball game against Troy University, Nov. 8, 2023, in The Convo.

Men’s Basketball: Ohio’s offense goes silent in loss to Akron

Ohio (9-10, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) made the trip to Akron Tuesday night to attempt to put away the Mid-American Conference’s best team.

The Zips entered the night 6-0 versus MAC opponents and 8-0 on their home court. While Ohio’s defense held Akron to its lowest point total since the start of MAC play, it wasn't enough to overcome Ohio’s worst shooting night of the season. 

Ohio would fall to Akron by a final score of 67-58. Ohio’s measly 58 points mark the fewest it has scored against any opponent all season. 

While Ohio would go on to lose by 9 points at the final buzzer, the game was close between the two teams until the late stages of the second half. Ohio trailed by as few as two possessions with 1:43 to play in the second half. 

Ohio’s defense put forth one of its best performances of the season. 

The Bobcats held the Zips' Enrique Freeman, one of the leading scorers in the MAC, to a modest 19 points. While 19 points still made Freeman the game-leading scorer, it is fewer than any other MAC school has allowed Freeman to score other than Ball State. 

As for Akron’s other star player, Ali Ali, Ohio’s defense fared much better, allowing the 6-foot, 8-inch senior to score only 8 points, though he entered averaging 16.5 points per game. 

To start the game, Ohio struggled to put the ball in the basket on offense. While those struggles did not disappear, they got better. Ohio began the game, scoring just 8 points in the game's first 11 minutes. Ohio would end the half with a season-low 26 points in the game’s first 20 minutes. 

As a team, Ohio ended the game, shooting just 38.9% from the field. 

The Bobcat’s leading scorer was Shereef Mitchell, who had 14 points on 5-12 shooting. Other than Mitchell, only two Bobcats could score in double figures: Jaylin Hunter and AJ Clayton with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. 

Ohio’s struggle to shoot the ball came on a day when it got back one of the team's leading scorers in sophomore Elmore James, who had been sidelined with injury for the previous two games. James did not start for Ohio but rather played a role off the bench, scoring a season-low 2 points. 

Though Ohio was able to make the game close with good defense, prolonged scoring droughts plagued the team's ability to win the game.

Akron led by as many as 12 points in the first half, and Ohio was never able to recover. The game remained relatively tight; however, Ohio never saw a lead.


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