Ohio 78, Miami 61

Ohio’s Jason Preston (0) looks to get into the paint while being defended by Miami’s James Beck (11), Mekhi Lairy (2) and Dae Dae Grant (3) during Tuesday’s game in the Convocation Center. Preston had 10 points and eight assists in Ohio’s 78-61 win.

Jason Preston made his return to the starting lineup, and the Ohio Bobcats got another win over their arch rivals.

Preston was back at point guard after missing four games due to injury, as Ohio defeated Miami 78-61 on Tuesday inside the Convocation Center.

The Bobcats (7-5, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) never trailed, leading 12-3 less than four minutes into the game.

Preston was solid in his return, scoring 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting. He had six rebounds and eight assists in 32 minutes, spearheading an Ohio offense that shared the ball.

The Bobcats had 23 assists on 31 made field goals in the win. Ohio was 11 of 23 from 3-point range.

Ben Roderick led the charge from long range, making six 3-pointers in his 10 attempts. That led to a game-high 20 points for the 6-foot-5 sophomore.

Ben Vander Plas also filled up the stat sheet for Ohio, flirting with a triple-double. He finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Ohio was sizzling from the field, shooing 57.4 percent (31 of 54), including 20 of 31 from 2-point range.

Lunden McDay added nine points and Dwight Wilson III eight points for Ohio. Mark Sears came off the bench to score nine points, grab seven rebounds and hand out four assists.

Miami (4-4, 1-2 MAC) was never able to get ahead of Ohio. When Miami’s Elijah McNamara scored to cut Ohio’s lead to 17-15, the Bobcats responded with five straight points to lead 22-15 after Rifen Miguel’s jumper.

The RedHawks cut the lead to 32-29 after Dae Dae Grant’s 3-pointer, but Ohio closed the half with six straight points and led 38-29 after Preston assisted on Vander Plas’ shot in the lane.

A 10-0 Bobcat run in the second half pushed the lead to 48-31 after McDay’s transition basket. Roderick made consecutive 3-pointers during the run, as Miami never had the deficit to single digits again.

Miami’s best second-half stretch came during a 14-7 run, allowing it to trail 55-45 after Grant’s 3-pointer with will 9:20 left.

The Bobcats had an answer, starting with two free throws from Sears. That started an 11-4 run that was capped by Wilson’s slam dunk on a feed from Preston.

Ohio led 66-49 with 6:41 to play, and was on its way to its third win against Miami in the last two seasons.

The Bobcats continued to lead 76-55 after Vander Plas’ three-point play with 1:59 remaining.

Miami was led by Dalonte Brown’s 16 points and five rebounds. He recorded his 1,000th career point during the contest. Brown is the 37th player in program history to hit the milestone.

Mekhi Lairy added 15 points, five assists and two steals, while Grant had 12 points on four 3-pointers.

Miami was held to 40.4 percent shooting, 23 of 57, in the defeat.

Ohio remains home on Saturday with a 2 p.m. tip off against Kent State.

Ohio 78, Miami 61

Miami 29 32 — 61

Ohio 38 40 — 78

MIAMI 61 (4-4, 1-2 MAC)

Josh Brewer 1 0-0 2, James Beck 1 0-0 2, Dalonte Brown 4 6-6 16, Mekhi Lairy 6 1-4 15, Dae Dae Grant 4 0-0 12, Isaiah Coleman-Lands 2 0-0 4, Precious Ayah 0 0-0 0, Milos Jovic 0 0-0 0, Myja White 2 0-0 4, Elijah McNamara 3 0-0 6; TOTALS 23 7-10 61; 3-point field goals: 8 (Grant 4, Brown, Lairy 2 apiece)

OHIO 78 (7-5, 3-3 MAC)

Ben Roderick 7 0-0 20, Dwight Wilson III 3 2-2 8, Ven Vander Plas 6 1-1 15, Jason Preston 5 0-0 10, Lunden McDay 4 0-0 9, Miles Brown 0 0-0 0, Mark Sears 3 2-2 9, Rifen Miguel 1 0-0 2, Mason McMurray 1 0-0 3, Colin Granger 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 31 5-5 78; 3-point field goals: 11 (Roderick 6, Vander Plas 2, McDay, Sears, McMurray 1 apiece)

TEAM STATISTICS/INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Field goals — Miami 23-57 (.404), 3-point field goals 8-23 (.348); Ohio 31-54 (.574), 3-point field goals 11-23 (.478); Free throws — Miami 7-10 (.700), Ohio 5-5 (1.000); Rebounds — Miami 28 (Brown 5), Ohio 30 (Vander Plas 8); Assists — Miami 16 (Lairy 5), Ohio 23 (Preston 8); Blocks — Miami 2 (McNamara 2), Ohio 2 (Wilson, Preston 1 apiece); Turnovers — Miami 13, Ohio 14; Steals — Miami 5 (Lairy 2), Ohio 5 (Roderick 2); Team fouls — Miami 8, Ohio 12.


Email at kwiseman@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @KevinWmessenger

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