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ATHENS, Ohio—The Ohio basketball team (2-3) opened the Bobcat Battle by defeating Eastern Illinois (1-5) 78-67.
As a team, Ohio shot 42.2 percent from the field, 41.4 percent from the threes, and was 12 of 16 from the line. They recorded eight steals and 17 assists compared to the Panthers’ seven steals and eight assists, and outscored their opponent 42-27.
senior forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) led by 15 points and went 3-for-5 in threes while the senior guard was at it Miles Brown (Rochester, NY) recorded 14 points with a three-point career-high of four. freshman forward Aidan Hadaway (Lafayette, Georgia) has more than doubled his career best for points in a game and has 11 overall.
Sophomore forward AJ Clayton (Roseville, Ohio) opened with a second chance dunk for the first two points of the game. After leveling the game 4-4, the Panthers charged forward, trailing the Bobcats for most of the half.
Coming off a hiatus, freshman guard AJ Brown (Orlando, Fla.) scored his first three points of his collegiate career, putting the score at 22-19. Senior Guard DeVon Baker (Dayton, Ohio) and Junior Guard Jaylin Hunter (Manchester, Connecticut) followed with a layup and a three, cutting Eastern Illinois’ lead to 25-24 with 8:04 remaining at halftime.
A layup by Roderick finished the game 32-32, with 2:14 at halftime, and tied the game again when he answered the Panthers’ three-point basket with one of his own. A steal followed by a layup by Hunter gave Ohio a 37-35 lead with just 44 seconds left.
At halftime, the Bobcats shot 42.9 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from the 3s and 2-of-4 from the line, while Eastern Illinois shot 45.8 percent from the field, 58.3 percent from the 3s and 3-of -4 was out of line. Ohio overtook the Panthers 21-13 while the Bobcats had seven assists and six steals to Eastern Illinois’ six assists and three steals.
The Panthers quickly regained the lead with two layups and a free throw, but a Clayton three-pointer leveled the game 40-40, 17-55 in the game. Three come forward from a time out from Roderick and Clayton along with a layup from PhD Dwight Wilson III (Tallahassee, Fla.) extended Ohio’s lead to five points.
Roderick came out strong from the next media timeout, hitting two free throws and a three to give Ohio a 57-47 lead, marking the game’s biggest lead to date. After Eastern Illinois put four points on the board, Hadaway hit three and two free throws.
The Bobcats continued to dominate, scoring 12 points over the Panthers’ five in the next 2:18. Just before the final timeout of the game, Eastern Illinois hit from a layup to put the score at 74-58 with 3:24 in the game.
The Panthers finished the game with seven straight points and slipped the last jumper with just seven seconds left, but couldn’t catch Ohio. The Bobcats won 78-67.
Next, the Bobcat return on Sunday, November 27 when they host Alabama State for their final game in the Bobcat Battle. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center and can be seen on ESPN+.