Central Michigan had no answer for Ohio University's half-court trapping defense Wednesday night and the Bobcats took full advantage, building an insurmountable 21-point lead over the Chippewas in the first half.
Ohio (8-6, 3-3 MAC) led 38-17 with 3:10 remaining in the first half following a 15-4 Bobcat run. The Chippewas (7-8, 2-5 MAC) responded with a 9-0 run though to closeout the half trailing 38-26.
Central Michigan never got closer though, as Ohio used a 15-5 run to open the second half and cruise to the 74-54 victory.
"It was a good night for the Bobcats," Ohio head coach Tim O'Shea said. "We have a young and athletic team, which is made for the full court pressure game."
That pressure caused 21 CMU turnovers, many of which led to easy Ohio baskets.
"Give Ohio all the credit, they came out and played," CMU head coach Jay Smith said. "We came unglued against the press. We played our worst game of the year and that's my fault for not having the team ready."
Junior guard Kevin Nelson led the CMU scoring attack with 14 points. He was joined in double-figures by Sefton Barrett, who added 11 points.
Overall, the Chippewas converted 22-of-50 shots from the field for 44 percent, but made just 2-of-14 attempts from beyond the three-point arc. The Bobcats made 28-of-62 shots for 45.2 percent.
Freshman guard Jeremy Fears led the Bobcat attack with 15 points, followed by forward Sonny Troutman (14) and guard Mychal Green (12).
Next up for CMU is a game Saturday at the University of Akron. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Chippewas return home to Rose Arena Wednesday, Jan. 26, against Bowling Green at 7 p.m.
"We've got to build our guys back up and get ready for Akron," Smith said. "You can't quit and you can't hang your head. We've got to continue to teach and learn."
Ohio Routes CMU, 74-54
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