"We played well tonight, no doubt about it," said Ohio coach Tim O'Shea.
Ohio's shooting wasn't just hot —it was the program's highest percentage in one game in two seasons— but rather, it was enough to melt Marshall into a shooting slump during the second half. The Herd hit just two of 16 three-point shots in the second half, enabling the Bobcats to extend an early 10-point lead into a 19-point lead over a six-minute span.
All of Ohio's starting five -save for Terren Harbut- finished the game in double figures, led by Mychal Green's 17 points.
"They weren't missing at all," said Marshall's David Anderson of Ohio. Anderson finished with 10 points. "We weren't getting back in transition and they were getting easy buckets."
Ohio's Mychal Green grabbed for the basketball held by Marshall's Joe Miles in the 83-62 Ohio win. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
And those easy buckets added up to 50 Ohio points in the paint when all was said and done, versus Marshall's 28. Ohio's Leon Williams did the most damage inside, scoring 14 and grabbing 12 rebounds. "They couldn't stop him," said OU coach O'Shea. "He delivered."
"And those are high-percentage shots," described Marshall coach Ron Jirsa of the Ohio onslaught inside. "We didn't keep the ball out of the post."
Marshall led the game briefly at 5-2, but Ohio quickly answered with an 11-0 run to take the lead it would never relinquish. OU's Mychal Green hit two consecutive threes midway through the first half to give the Bobcats their first double-digit lead at 29-18.
Ohio had a 44-32 lead at the half.
In the second half, Marshall looked to the three-point shot to regain lost ground on the Bobcats, but the shots just would not fall. The Herd would shoot just 18.8% from three (6-of-32) in the game, and it lead to a catch-22 that Jirsa couldn't get out of. "If we had made more, we would have shot less," said MU coach Ron Jirsa of Marshall's three-point woes. Jirsa also added that his team's goal is to shoot 33.3% from three -which it is doing, for the season. "We need to shoot better than that," Jirsa quickly countered.
The many missed threes enabled Ohio to stay in a zone defense, then quickly get out in transition for the easy baskets. "They [Marshall] missed a bunch of shots, and it made no sense to get out of the zone [defense]," added Ohio coach O'Shea.
A LaVar Carter layup would get Marshall as close as ten points, 53-43, with 13:03 remaining. However, the Ohio transition baskets kept coming, and the end result was a 20-9 run that put the game out of Marshall's reach for good with 4:19 left, at 73-52.
"We went to the offensive glass, and they [Ohio] got back and scored," summed up Marshall coach Jirsa.
Marshall heads into the final stretch of the MAC regular season with a 5-20 overall record, and 2-14 in the MAC. Ohio continues its late-season surge with a 16-9 overall record, 10-6 in the conference. Next up for Marshall is a road game at Akron on March 2, before coming home for the final game of the year against Miami on March 5.