Ohio University (6-1) at Oakland (1-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 6 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics Center O'rena (4,005) -- Rochester, Michigan. Television: HLN. Home Record: Ohio 5-0, Oakland 1-0. Away Record: Ohio 1-1, Oakland 0-6. Neutral Record: Ohio 0-0, Oakland 0-1. Conference Record: Ohio 0-0, Oakland 0-0. Series Record: Ohio leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The Ohio University Bobcats will look to stay hot as they get set to face the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in a non-conference bout at the Athletics Center O'rena on Saturday.
The Bobcats routed Evansville, 81-59, last Saturday to earn their fifth straight victory and sixth in seven games, overall. Most of the Bobcats' work this season has been done at home, where they are 5-0. Ohio has split its two road games with a 79-69 loss to No. 5 Ohio State and a 65-62 win over Morgan State. Ohio hosts Alabama A&M next.
Oakland finally got in the win column itself last Saturday. However it took a date with NAIA foe Rochester College to earn the 86-51 triumph. The Golden Grizzlies had lost seven straight games to begin the season, though each one of those games came away from home, with three coming against ranked foes. Oakland is traveling again for its next matchup with Indiana before hosting Michigan State.
These teams have met in each of the last three seasons and five times total. Last year Ohio took a 78-61 victory to increase its all-time series lead to 4-1.
In its win over Evansville the Bobcats put on a clinic from beyond the arc, netting 10-of-24 shots from 3-point distance. The Bobcats also hit on 48.4 percent of their shots from the field and held a 40-31 edge on the boards.
The Bobcats don't often rely so heavily on shooting from behind the 3-point line, but they are still a solid offensive group. Ohio is scoring 75.3 points per game and shooting at a 45.8 percent clip. It is perhaps their defensive efforts that have been most important for the Bobcats, who let up 65.7 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting, ranking among the top 30 teams in the country in opponent field-goal percentage. Nick Kellogg (14.7 ppg) showed off his stroke from 3-point range against Evansville, netting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to finished with 13 points. Kellogg is one of two players averaging in double figures for the Bobcats, with Maurice Ndour (14.4 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 bpg) the other.
Oakland took out some frustration from its rough start out on Rochester. The Golden Grizzlies held massive advantages on points in the paint (32-4), off turnovers (30-12) and on second-chance attempts (18-2). The Golden Grizzlies also put in one of their best games on the boards in the contest, ripping down 40 rebounds.
The glass has been a real weak spot for the Golden Grizzlies this season. They are bringing in only 28.6 rebounds per game, ranking near the very bottom of Division I teams. Travis Bader (22.2 ppg) is the offensive star for the team and is coming off a 24-point outing against Rochester. Bader has been keeping things warm as Duke Mondy (11.4 ppg, 5.6 apg) continues to knock off the rust after he missed some games due to legal trouble. Mondy looked just fine against Rochester with 16 points, six assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Corey Petros (11.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg) handles the duties up front.
It took a bout with a NAIA team for Oakland to earn its first victory. Until the Golden Grizzlies can prove they can clean the glass against more formidable competition it is difficult to favor them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 71, Oakland 67
12/07 10:38:35 ET