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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 7-3, Ohio 12-1. Away Record: BGSU 1-8, Ohio 4-5. Neutral Record: BGSU 1-2, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 4-5, Ohio 7-1. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 71-62.
GAME NOTES: The Ohio University Bobcats will try to improve to 8-1 in MAC play for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign as they host the Bowling Green Falcons at the Convocation Center for a Mid-American Conference tilt.
The Bobcats and Falcons will meet for the 134th time on Saturday. Bowling Green is the only MAC school that Ohio does not have a winning record against. The Falcons hold a 71-62 edge in the all-time series and have won six of the last 10 matchups. Ohio has won three-straight meetings in the rivalry at the Convocation Center.
Bowling Green collected its second win in a row on Wednesday with a 57-41 triumph over the Huskies at Northern Illinois. The victory put the Falcons at 9-13 overall and gave them their first true road win of the season. A'uston Calhoun recorded a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 12 boards to power the Falcons past NIU. One game after going finishing with 19 point and eight assists, Jordon Crawford went 1-of-9 from the floor to generate just two points. Richaun Holmes chipped in 11 points for the Falcons in the win as the team shot 43.1 percent from the field and limited the Huskies to 27.5 percent shooting.
The Falcons will need much more out of the 5-foot-6 Crawford against tougher competition going forward. The senior point guard paces the team in the scoring column with 15.5 ppg, while Calhoun is close behind at 15.4 ppg. Crawford's lightning quick first step has helped him run the show for BGSU as he deals out 4.3 assists and record 1.9 steals per contest. Calhoun is consistently a force on the glass to grab 7.5 rpg, while Holmes rejects 2.5 shots per tilt. Bowling Green is one of the better defensive teams in the MAC, limiting their opposition to 62.3 ppg. However, it is only 10th in scoring with a mere average of 61.8 ppg.
Jim Christian's Bobcats bounced back from their inaugural MAC loss of the season on Wednesday by coasting to a 69-42 rout of the Ball State Cardinals on the road. Ohio is now 16-6 overall as it returns to the Convocation Center, where it owns a nearly flawless 12-1 mark. The Bobcats are led by senior point guard D.J. Cooper, who leads the team with 14.1 points per game and the conference with 7.9 assists per tilt. Cooper will set a new program record for career starts on Saturday as he makes his 128th appearance in Ohio's starting five. Thanks largely in part to Cooper's efforts, Ohio is leading the nation in assists per game (18.9) and ranks inside the top 20 in field goal percentage (0.482) as well.
Walter Offutt scored 17 points in Ohio's win over Ball State, which marked the team's eighth victory in nine outings. The Bobcats forced 22 turnovers and had a 26-9 edge in points off takeaways to run away from the Cardinals. The strong showing improved Ohio's average scoring margin to +9.1 versus league rivals.
The Bobcats have shown they are a very dangerous team from beyond the arc by hitting a conference leading total of 184 3-pointers in 22 games. Reggie Keely is second in scoring with 11.4 ppg, and Offutt is a close third at 11.1 ppg.
Ohio has some more contributors down the line in Nick Kellogg, Ivo Baltic, Jon Smith, and Hall. Its depth and homecourt advantage should be enough to fend off the inconsistent Falcons, who will have no chance of winning unless Crawford finds his shooting touch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 73, Bowling Green 59
02/09 10:37:59 ET