MUNCIE, Ind. — Ohio had five starters in double figures, leading to a 78-68 win at Ball State’s Worthen Arena on Saturday.
The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Bobcats, who improve to 5-4 overall.
It was also the Bobcats’ first Mid-American Conference victory, as they are now 1-2 in the conference.
Ben Roderick led the way for Ohio with a 20-point effort, making 6 of 9 3-point attempts.
Ohio also got a strong effort from freshman point guard Mark Sears, who once again filled in for the injured Jason Preston.
Sears had 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting, adding eight assists, our rebounds and three steals.
Dwight Wilson and Ben Vander Plas each tallied 14 points, with Wilson added six rebounds. Vander Plas had a pair of assists.
Lunden McDay also had a 10-point effort in the win for Ohio, also having three rebounds and three assists.
The starting lineup accounted for all but two points for Ohio, as Miles Brown came off the bench for those two points.
Ohio led for all but 38 seconds of the contest, roaring ahead 26-11 after a Sears field goal.
Ball State trailed just 42-37 at halftime though, eventually forcing a 46-46 tie after Brachen Hazen’s 3-pointer.
Ball State led 48-47 and 50-49 with 13:12 left after Ben Hendricks’ dunk.
Vander Plas followed with a 3-pointer for a 52-50 edge, and Ohio never trailed again.
Roderick’s 3-pointer with 8L53 remaining lifted Ohio to a 60-56 lead.
Ball State forced a 60-60 tie with 7:31 remaining on Miryne Thomas’ basket, but Sears came back with a shot in the lain for a 62-60 edge.
That started a 14-4 run that saw the Bobcats lead 74-64 with 2:47 left on Vander Plas’ jumper.
Ball State (4-4, 2-1 MAC) was led by Ishmael El-Amin’s 18 points and four assists. He made four 3-point field goals.
Thomas added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Hazen added 19 points and four rebounds.
Ohio shot 55.4 percent from the field, making 31 of 56 shot attempts including 7 of 18 from 3-point range.
Ball State was 26 of 56 from the field, 46.4 percent, but was just 36 percent (9 of 25) from 3-point range. Ball State also had 17 turnovers, compared to 10 for Ohio.
Ohio returns home on Tuesday with a MAC game against Northern Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.