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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: CSS. Home Record: CMU 5-5, Ohio 8-3. Away Record: CMU 2-6, Ohio 6-2. Neutral Record: CMU 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: CMU 0-6, Ohio 4-2. Series Record: Ohio University leads, 45-25.
GAME NOTES: With their sights set on their fifth league win of the season, the Ohio University Bobcats entertain the Central Michigan Chippewas in a Mid- American Conference tilt at the Convocation Center.
Central Michigan has failed to pick up a victory in each of its six conference bouts, while losing eight of its last nine overall. The stretch of futility has ruined what was a decent run in non-conference play, as the Chippewas are now 7-11 overall. They will visit Western Michigan this Saturday in their next outing.
Ohio has won three of its last four games following a 58-56 triumph over Eastern Michigan last Saturday. The Bobcats are 14-5 overall and currently in a four-way tie for third place in the MAC with a 4-2 record. They will host Toledo next.
The Bobcats have won three of the last four meetings between the two squads, giving them a stranglehold on the all-time series (45-25).
Blake Hibbitts scored 21 points and Chris Fowler added 20, but it was not enough for Central Michigan in its 82-74 loss to Akron last time out. The Chippewas allowed the Zips to shoot 51.8 percent from the floor and were outscored off turnovers, 26-19.
Central Michigan is currently the second-highest scoring team in the MAC, netting 74.7 ppg, while ranking third in field goal percentage (.447). However, opponents are responding by connecting on 47.9 percent of their field goal tries against the Chippewas. Fowler (17.3 ppg, 5.2 apg) is one of the better guards in the league, shooting 56.6 percent from the field and ranking third in the MAC in both scoring and assists. Johns Simons (10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is the team's top performer on the glass, and the only other player averaging in double figures.
Javarez Willis drained a 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play, which proved to be the difference for Ohio in its recent win over Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats only shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the game, but they claimed a 30-6 scoring edge from beyond the arc.
Ohio is a mediocre offensive team in comparison to the rest of the MAC, ranking fifth in the league in both scoring (70.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (.439). However, the Bobcats make up the difference on defense, surrendering just 62.8 ppg on the ninth-best mark in the country in opponent field goal percentage (.378). Maurice Ndour (14.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Nick Kellogg (14.3 ppg) are the team's top scoring threats. Kellogg finished with 12 points against Eastern Michigan, while Ndour struggled to get seven points. He did however, grab 14 rebounds.
Put simply, Ohio is awfully tough to beat at home (8-3), and the Bobcats are too skilled defensively for the Chippewas to have any hope of ending their current losing streak.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 78, Central Michigan 66
01/29 10:37:36 ET
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