Updated Mon, Dec 30, 2013 9:33 pm
It was a tale of two halves for Ohio Monday when it defeated the Longwood Lancers 78-43 at home.
It looked as though Ohio had trouble shaking off the holiday rust in the first half, as the Bobcats only held a 32-28 lead at halftime. Against a bad defensive team in Longwood, the Bobcats turned the ball over nine times. Many of turnovers were unforced and a result of sloppy play by the Bobcats, such as T.J. Hall catching an inbounds pass with one foot on the sideline.
Hall did provide Ohio with a spark off the bench, though, scoring seven points in the first half on 2-for-4 shooting. Kellogg led the way for the ‘Cats with nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field in the first half.
The rest of the Bobcats did not fare as well as Kellogg and Hall did in the first half, and it was a big reason why the Lancers found themselves trailing by only four at halftime. The Bobcats went 10-for-28 from the field (35.7 percent). Luckily for them, Longwood was not much better, going 10-for- 27 (37 percent) in the first half.
In the second half, though, Ohio came out with more energy, forcing Longwood to take tougher shots and holding the Lancers to only 15 second half points. The Bobcats also blocked seven shots in the game. A Stevie Taylor block on a Longwood fast break led to a Maurice Ndour alley-oop slam that was assisted by Nick Kellogg on the other end.
That energy carried over to the offensive end as well in the second half, as the Bobcats used their stops to get out, push the ball up the floor and create open shots. Ohio did a good job of converting those open shots, going 15-for-33 after halftime.
Ohio opened the second half with a 15-6 run. A Ricardo Johnson and-1 put back on an offensive rebound over two Longwood defenders highlighted the turnaround for the Bobcats.
Several possessions later, Jon Smith blocked a Longwood shot, creating a fast break opportunity for Ohio that led to an open Nick Kellogg 3-pointer.
Hall continued his strong play in the second half as he finished the game with 14 points off the bench, moving Ohio to 5-0 when he scores 10 or more points.
Kellogg also continued to play well in the second half, finishing with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Kellogg was particularly effective from behind the 3-point line, as he connected on three of his five attempts from deep.
Three other Bobcats joined Hall and Kellogg in double digits. Ndour scored 10 points in addition to his nine rebounds, and Ricardo Johnson and Stevie Taylor each pitched in 11 points. Ohio held Longwood’s leading scorer, Tristan Carey, to a season-low seven points Monday.
Ohio will head on the road for its final nonconference game Saturday against the University of North Carolina at Asheville.