Updated Sun, Feb 24, 2013 12:51 am
Belmont Bruins 81
Ian Clark: 18 points, six rebounds
J.J. Mann: 17 points, eight rebounds
Ohio Bobcats 62
Reggie Keely: 12 points, eight rebounds
T.J. Hall: 10 points, five rebounds
A Game of Runs:
The Bobcats kept pace with Belmont early on, but fell behind by double digits after the Bruins strung together an 11-2 run from the 10:35 mark in the first half to the 7:47 mark.
Almost immediately after that run seemed to end, Belmont put together a quick 8-2 run from 5:48 to 4:37 to increase its lead to 15 points.
Finally, after Ohio cut the lead back down to 10, Belmont ended the half on a 7-0 run over the last 1:30 to take a 41-24 lead into the locker room.
To Live and Die by the 3:
In a matchup of two teams that rank in the top 20 in the country with more than eight 3-pointers made per game, Belmont did what it could to take the long ball away from Ohio.
The Bobcats shot wll below their season average of 36 percent, making just six of 24 3-point attempts.
Belmont shot a rather ordinary 8-of-22 from deep -- the Bruins average about nine makes on 22 attempts -- but they also shot more than 63 percent on 2-point field goals and held Ohio to 50 percent from inside the arc.
Ohio's senior floor general had his struggles with Belmont's defense Saturday.
D.J. Cooper ended the game with only 6 points on 1-of-8 shooting, as seven of his eight attempts came from 3-point land.
Cooper also had four turnovers to just three assists.
Non-Conference Road Woes:
After Saturday's loss -- the second worst result for Ohio in the Jim Christian era -- the Bobcats are 0-5 in non-conference road games.
Ohio has averaged 67 points per game in these five losses, but it has allowed an average of 81.6 points per non-conference road game.
Battle for the MAC:
Ohio returns home to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center for a MAC bout with first-place Akron on Wednesday.
The Zips got the better of Ohio in the first meeting, 86-72, but Ohio has beaten Akron at home each of the past two seasons by an average of 24.5 points per game.