The Ohio Bobcats took on the Ball State Cardinals in a game that would see Ohio take the lead early and not allow Ball State to catch up despite a decent second-half performance. Four Bobcats’ starters scored in double-digits, as did four Cardinals’ starters; Ball State even out-rebounded Ohio.
However, the main deciding factor was Ball State’s inability to hit from behind the 3-point arc. At just 19 percent, the Cardinals missed 17 three-pointers en route to a 76-64 Ohio victory.
Ohio will be grateful to make it out of the first round of the MAC tournament. The Bobcats have shown this season that they struggle against the weak and mid-range MAC teams and have success against teams like Western Michigan, Toledo, Akron and Buffalo. They’re going to have to beat these teams again if they are to become that 2014 NCAA tournament bid-stealer.
Ohio has the talent to win the MAC and steal the 2014 NCAA tournament bid out from under some of the favorites, but the Bobcats will have to go through Miami (OH) next.
It’s hard to beat the same team three times in a season, which is exactly what Ohio will be trying to do when they face Miami. Both games were extremely close wins for the Bobcats, and both required big games from Nick Kellogg. Kellog will have to have success if they are to win again. Ohio must find a way to shut down Will Felder, who leads Miami in both scoring and rebounds, if they are to make it to the quarterfinals against Akron.