Monday, March 11, 2013

Four Bobcats Honored With All-ECAC Hockey Marks; Women's Ice Hockey Earns Turfer Athletic Sportsmanship Trophy

Junior forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) along with three other members of the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team garnered All-ECAC Hockey honors for the 2012-13 season. Babstock earned her second career All-ECAC Hockey First Team distinction while senior defenseman Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) and senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) were placed on the All-ECAC Second Team and finally sophomore forward Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) was placed on the All-ECAC Third Team for the first time in her career. The Bobcats also were distinguished by the league with the Turfer Athletic Sportsmanship Trophy.

Four-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week, Babstock earns her third career All-ECAC honor including her second appearance on the First Team. Babstock carried the offensive load for the Bobcats with 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in conference play, good for second-best among all players. She was the second-leading goal scorer and tied for the fourth-most assists in the ECAC Hockey. Babstock's ability to come through in the clutch saved the Bobcats on multiple occasions as her five combined game-winning and game-tying goals tied for first in the conference alongside Clarkson's Jaime Lee Rattray and St. Lawrence forward Kelly Sabatine. Babstock also took home four ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honors which is the most for any player in the conference this season. Babstock's value to the Bobcats also cannot be understated as she either scored or assisted on 53 percent (35-of-66) of the goals scored for Quinnipiac in 22 ECAC Hockey contests, the highest percentage of any player in the conference. Babtsock scored more points (two goals, four assists) than any other player this season against the ECAC Hockey regular season champion Cornell. Her three points (two goals, one assists) helped score the Bobcats' first home victory over Cornell earlier this season and first since 2005 (14 meetings). Another transcendent game for her this season was her five point (one goal, four assists) effort against Dartmouth. The four assists against the Big Green tied a program record for most assists in a single game. She scored her 75th career goal and 150th career point on Feb. 10 against Colgate and she also tied the game with 30 seconds remaining against Yale on Feb. 2. Babstock has seven multi-goal games (6-0-1 team record when scoring twice) and 17 multi-point games (13-2-2 team record in those games) this season. Her plus/minus rating of +24 is tied with Cornell's Brianne Jenner for second-highest in the league. Babstock has proven her two-way ability as she leads all the Quinnipiac forwards in blocked shots with 18 on the season. She capped an illustrious season as the nation's 10th-leading scorer (55 points) while her 28 goals tied her for 5th-most in the country. She is one of just eight players in the nation to hold a spot in the top-10 points per-game (1.67), top-10 goals per-game (0.85), and top-20 assists per-game (0.82) averages.

The former ECAC Hockey Goalie and Rookie of the Year, Vigilanti had another transcendent season for the Bobcats in her fourth and final year with the team. This is the third All-League honor of her career after earned a First Team distinction in her freshman year and Third Team after her sophomore season. A two-time ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week honoree, Vigilanti played inspired hockey in the closing stages of the season as she didn't allow more than one goal in her final nine regular season appearances (eight in conference play). Over the nine-game stretch, Vigilanti put together a 0.57 goals-against average and .975 (197 saves on 202 shots) save percentage over her final 529:24 minutes. Included in the stretch was a landmark win over then-No. 4 Cornell on Feb. 8 where she tallied 32 saves and allowed one power-play goal in the closing stages of a 4-1 victory. She also contributed back-to-back 32 save outings against Clarkson and St. Lawrence on the road, allowing just one goal to each team. She wrapped the season with two consecutive shutouts at Yale and Brown where she made 12 saves against the Bulldogs and 24 against the Bears. The senior goalie has posted the third-most wins of any ECAC Hockey goalie this season (13) including the 70th of her career on Saturday at Brown. She also has upped her save percentage to fourth-best in the league at .927 and her goals-against average closed as the fifth-best at 1.69. She also sat tied for second in the conference with four shutouts in 20 ECAC Hockey contests.

The senior captain and reigning All-ECAC Third Team nominee, Boulton established herself as one of the premier defenders not only in the ECAC Hockey but in the nation this season. She well eclipsed her career high with 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 33 games played this season. She stood seventh nationally among defensemen in points per-game (0.91) and tied with St. Lawrence's Amanda Boulier for second among ECAC Hockey defenders at the end of the regular season. Down the final nine games of the season, no other Bobcat scored more than Boulton except for Babstock. Boulton posted 10 points (two goals, eight assists) over the Bobcats' final nine games, eight of which were against ECAC Hockey opponents. Her 16 assists in ECAC Hockey play placed her in a tie with Clarkson's Erin Ambrose for second-most among defenseman. Boulton also helped lead the ECAC Hockey's most efficient power play unit this season. She has been the point man all season for the Bobcats on the power play and it clearly was an area of success for Quinnipiac as their 20.5 percent clip was the best among all ECAC Hockey teams. Boulton tied for fourth in power-play points per game (0.45) She also tied for second on the team with six power-play goals this season as all of Boulton's tallies have come on the man advantage. Her leadership along the back line cannot be understated as she has committed the fewest penalty minutes (four) of any ECAC Hockey defender who has played all 22 games. The Bobcats have prided themselves on discipline and they've help the top spot as the nation's least-penalized team for a majority of the season due in large part to play and leadership capabilities of Boulton. She owns a +15 plus/minus rating which leads all Bobcat defenders and also has chipped in 27 blocked shots throughout this season. Boulton has recorded at least two helpers in seven games this season and the Bobcats are a perfect 7-0 when she chips in multiple assists. She played perhaps her best game of the season on Feb. 8 when the Bobcats took down then-No. 4 Cornell, 4-1, and Boulton finished with two assists and a season-high +3 rating. She followed with another two assists on Feb. 10 against Colgate to become Quinnipiac's second-leading scorer in program history. Boulton passed Vicky Graham '05 and stands alone in second place with 77 career points (24 goals, 53 assists) as a Bobcat.

Kosta's Third Team distinction is the first All-League mark in her illustrious career. The team leader in assists throughout the season with 28 total, Kosta tallied 15 helpers in conference play to land her in a tie for ninth in the ECAC Hockey standings. Looking at her 15 assists through ECAC Hockey action, Kosta's elite vision and passing ability can be evidenced by the fact that she was the "lead" assist on 11 of her 15 helpers this season. Kosta also assisted on two game-winning goals and one game-tying goal that helped seal a 2-2 tie against Yale. When called upon to shoot the puck, Kosta tended not to shy away as she totaled 92 shots this season, good for seventh-most among all ECAC skaters. She also pumped in eight goals to give her 23 points, the ninth-highest total among conference players. Kosta won her first career ECAC Hockey Player of the Week after either scoring or assisting on all five of the Bobcats' goals over the weekend road series at Colgate and Cornell. She recorded two assists on Nov. 2 at Colgate and then tallied two goals with one assist on Nov. 3 against Cornell. Kosta finished with her first career hat trick on Oct. 27 against Dartmouth and she added an assist to give her a career high four points against the Big Green. Certainly one of the most durable Bobcats, Nicole Kosta has led her team on both ends of the ice all season. She played at the top of the Quinnipiac penalty killing unit throughout the season and posted 15 blocked shots in 33 games this year. Kosta also yielded a remarkable streak as she didn't commit one penalty in conference play until the Bobcats' game at Yale on Feb. 22 (21 games into the ECAC Hockey schedule). She tied with Princeton's Kelly Cooke for the fewest penalty minutes among forwards with two this season. Her +21 plus/minus rating also puts her tied for fourth among ECAC Hockey forwards.

Quinnipiac also were distinguished with the Turfer Athletic Trophy for displaying the most sportsmanship of any team in the ECAC Hockey throughout the season. The Bobcats played the cleanest hockey of any team in the league as their committed just 116 penalty minutes in 22 conference meetings this season for an average of 5.3 minutes per-game. Their next-closest competitor was Union who averaged 6.5 penalty minutes per-game.

The Bobcats finished the season with a 20-13-4 overall record and also finished with the most single-season conference victories (13) in program history. Quinnipiac's four All-League honorees is the second-most of any team in the ECAC Hockey as regular season champion Cornell garnered five players on the list including Player of the Year Brianne Jenner.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bobcats Welcome Temple for Wednesday Night Matchup on ESPN

The Ohio football team (5-3; 2-2 MAC) will welcome the Temple (5-3; 3-2) Owls on Wednesday for a pivotal Mid-American Conference game. The game will also be the first time Peden Stadium has ever played host to an ESPN televised game. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

Ohio and Temple will meet for just the fifth time on Nov. 2. The Bobcats hold the all-time series lead at 3-1. The first time the two teams met was back on Nov. 2, 2007 with Ohio earning a 23-7 victory over Temple. The last meeting took place on Nov. 16, 2010 in Philadelphia. In that contest, the Bobcats defeated the Owls 31-23.

The Bobcats will The Bobcats enter the game after defeating Akron 37-20 on Oct. 22 to pick up their fourth-consecutive victory over the Zips. Ohio ranks second in the MAC in both total offense (450.2) and total defense (321.1).

Quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for 200 yards or more in each of the last six weeks. On Oct. 22 against Akron, Tettleton threw for 328 yards. Senior wide receiver LaVon Brazill surpassed 100 yards receiving for the third time this fall as he tallied a game-high 102 yards at Akron.

Senior wide receiver LaVon Brazill surpassed 100 yards receiving for the third time this fall as he tallied a game-high 102 yards at Akron. Brazill is just 64 receiving yards short of 2,000 for his career. Only two receivers in school history have recorded 2,000 yards or more in school history.

Temple enters Wednesday's game in the hopes of rebounding from a 13-10 loss at Bowling Green. Despite the Owls setback on Oct. 22, Temple has outscored its opponents 230-80, which is the largest margin in the league this season.

The Owls own the nation's No. 2 ranked scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 10 points per game. Temple has also recorded a pair of shutouts this season and has recorded a league-best 23 sacks. Offensively, junior running back Bernard Pierce leads the league in both rushing yards (951) and rushing touchdowns (18). Pierce has surpassed 100 yards-or-more in six of the Owls' eight games.

Wednesday night's game can also be heard live on the Citizens Bank Ohio IMG Sports Network with "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein, Rob Cornelius and Brian Boesch calling all of the action. Airtime begins at 7 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ostrander reflects on record season Bobcats finish up second in NJCAA World Series

About two months after the final out was recorded in the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., a sense of accomplishment had finally settled in for Jones County Junior College baseball coach Christian Ostrander.
“It has definitely set in,” he said in an interview recently from the JCJC Baseball Office. “You catch yourself reflecting here and there during some downtime. I guess the further away we got from the final loss and that sting wore off a bit, it was like, ‘Wow. We had a pretty good run.’
“Winning the state on this field this year in our new ballpark and then an unbelievable regional at Holmes and then going to the World Series and representing everyone well and having a chance to play in the national championship game – it was a special, special year.”
The Bobcats ended up second in the World Series, falling to Western Oklahoma State College 11-1 in the championship game on June 4 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. JCJC entered the event ranked No. 6 in the nation and proceeded to defeat fourth-ranked Des Moines Area Community College (Iowa), 9-1; top-ranked Heartland Community College (Ill.), 10-5; No. 14 Kellogg Community College (Mich.), 10-7 in 10 innings; and No. 7-rated Madison Area Technical College (Wisc.), 11-4, in their first four games.
In their next game, they led Western Oklahoma 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Pioneers scored seven runs and ended up winning 11-5. That set the stage for the title game where the Bobcats came up short.
JCJC posted a 46-17 record in 2011 – the third straight year they had set a school record for victories under Ostrander’s watch. The Bobcats were 36-16 in his first season in 2009 and 38-12 in 2010, giving him a remarkable 120-45 record in three years as the Bobcats’ head coach.
Expectations were high heading into this season.
The Bobcats had a veteran team returning and would be playing their debut season in brand new, $2.8 million Community Bank Park.
JCJC did all right coming out of the game, but they were not hitting on all cylinders.
Then came a game in late March that changed the fortunes of their season.
“Every team I have ever been a part of in coaching, whether as a head coach or an assistant, there is always going to be some adversity during the year,” Ostrander said. “Ours kind of happened early with some injuries right out of the gate. That first 20 or 22 games, we were still trying to find our identity.
“I can define the day that was the turning point – March 22 in a makeup game against Baton Rouge (Community College, La.). We played a nine-inning game out here. Baton Rouge, a really good team, played great and we did not play anywhere near our capabilities.”
The Bobcats lost the game, 4-2, and saw their record fall to 15-9. They appeared flat for the most part during that game and Ostrander said it was time for things to be set straight.
“We had a team meeting that night and told the guys it was either going to be this way or that way,” Ostrander said. “I told them I was not going to stop coaching them hard and it was time for them to be on board. We had a lot of guys speak and, in my opinion, handled things right.
“From that point on, I believe we went 31-8. That was the defining moment. It rattled their cage a bit and woke them up. We had some immediate success right after that and it just kind of caught fire.”
JCJC won its second straight MACJC South Division crown, which enabled them to host East Mississippi Community College in the opening round of the state playoffs on May 4-5. The Bobcats beat the Lions, two games to one, and that earned them the right to host the MACJC State Tournament on May 12-15 in Community Bank Park.
Large crowds were on hand to watch JCJC sweep Northwest, 7-0; Holmes, 6-1; and Northwest, 11-6, to claim the school’s fourth state championship and first since 2002.
Ostrander said it was fitting for JCJC to host the state tournament at the new stadium because of the effort made by school president Dr. Jesse Smith and the Board of Trustees to have a quality baseball program.
“The state championship was very exciting, but winning the South Division was our main goal,” he said. “Because if you win the South that puts you into a position to host and we were ecstatic about that. Dr. Smith, the administration and Board made a big commitment to baseball to win. It makes me feel good to bring that to them this year – it was not me, it was the players. It was great just to be able to see that their vision and commitment has paid off.”

Ostrander said it was a special weekend for the MACJC Tournament.

“A state championship is what it is all about in Mississippi,” he said. “It’s bragging rights and it’s a pride thing. They had last won it in 2002, so it had been nine years. It was a great weekend. We fought some rain, but our guys played outstanding baseball. It was very exciting and rewarding.”
JCJC then turned its attention to the Region 23 Tournament at Holmes Community College in Goodman. Most people expected a showdown between the Bobcats and defending national champion LSU-Eunice.
It would happen, but the Bobcats had to fight just to make the championship round.
The Bobcats dropped the region opener to host Holmes, but bounced back to beat Northwest and Holmes to set the stage for the final day. Ladd Rhodes hit a walkoff, two-run home run to propel JCJC to a 6-5 victory in the opener vs. LSU-Eunice and the Bobcats scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the nightcap, 8-7.
“The regional was a different beast. We kind of walked through the state – one-two-three,” Ostrander said. “We hoped the same thing would happen in the regional, but we didn’t play our best in a couple of areas against Holmes in that first game and lost, 5-4.
“So, we put ourselves in a position where we had to play 36 innings in 24 hours and that is not easy. We came out the next morning and beat Northwest, went back to the hotel, got a shower, and came back that night and beat Holmes to get us to the championship day on Saturday vs. LSU-Eunice.”
The two games the Bobcats played on May 21 vs. LSU-Eunice were about as special as any games in the history of the program.
“You feel like a proud father because of what those guys accomplished on that day,” Ostrander explained. “It was hot, tough and draining on that day. I’ve said this so many times to so many people that the most talented teams don’t always win in this game – it’s the team with more heart and determination and unity. Saturday’s games could be used as an example for years and years and years to come.
“Our guys were gassed that day. You look at the pictures from the state championship dogpile and trophy pics and from the regional dogpile and trophy photos and there is a huge difference.
“Obviously, it was an unbelievable feeling that day. To see those guys celebrate and know they were going to the World Series was great. I knew how special that would be and I knew it would be something they would remember for the rest of their lives.”
The stay in Oklahoma was memorable for many reasons.
It was a 12-hour bus ride to Enid and the Bobcats would end up staying there for 10 days. While fans will reflect on the games, there was much more to the World Series than just the action on the field.
“The whole experience of being at the World Series was special,” Ostrander said. “The games were just one phase of it. This team has called itself a ‘family’ all year and it was our last chance to be together. I told them to make sure they enjoyed the experience because for however long we were there, once it’s over, it’s over.
“But I thought they really enjoyed it. From the first day’s (FCA) breakfast to the opening ceremonies to the practices to the cookouts to the Enid Astros (JCJC’s host youth baseball team) and watching them play – all of those things were great experiences for these guys.
“They were proud, they were there, they were recognized for their accomplishments and that’s what a World Series is all about. It was great for them to be able to feel that.”
The Bobcats played quite well during the World Series and folks around Enid certainly knew who they were.
“As far as the games themselves, it was just the same old boys going out there playing every day,” Ostrander said. “We ran into a buzzsaw with Western Oklahoma, but we have nothing to be ashamed of for our performance up there. We put ourselves in a position to win a national championship.”
Ostrander said the trip, hopefully, will set the stage for more trips to the World Series and, eventually, a national championship.
“If we get back there enough, we will do it,” he said. “There will come a point where we will do it. If you do something once, it’s confidence because you can do it again and we can. It won’t be easy because you’ve got to get through your schedule, get through the South, get through the state tournament, win enough to get to a regional and you will have to knock off some good Mississippi teams and a Eunice.
“That’s why when we rolled into Enid, everybody was calling us ‘giantkillers’ – which I kind of disagreed with them a little bit on that.”
By being in the national stage, the team brought attention not only to JCJC, but to themselves as well. Senior college scouts from across the country were there and Ostrander said that benefitted his players when it came time to sign scholarships.
“Something that I am extremely proud of is that every one of our sophomores, even the backup guys, has an offer to go play at the next level,” he said. “That means a lot. That tells you a little something right there.”
Ostrander added that the team had excellent chemistry and outstanding sophomore leadership, starting with pitcher Andrew Pierce. Pierce ended the year with an 11-3 record and was named a first-team All-American for the second straight year. But he noted another sophomore pitcher, Blake McIlwain, was clutch down the stretch.
“Andrew had a great year again, was an All-American and a leader of the staff,” he said. “Blake was our fourth starter all year, but came up big at the end in the Gulf Coast game where we clinched the South Division to the game against LSU-Eunice in the regionals and against Madison, Wisc., in the World Series.
“Nick Ray, Graham Odom and Chase Headrick – those sophomores in the infield – had great years and showed great leadership. The same thing can be said for the outfield with Ladd Rhodes and Darion Hamilton and with Ryan Roberts behind the plate.
‘Then you talk about the freshmen – Zach Allen, Chad Guice, Vito Perna, Logan Riddell, Chase Stewart and on and on – it was just a good mixture. Guys stepped up, had good years, and accepted their roles and we went from there.”
The World Series will be something the 2011 Bobcats will remember forever. But Ostrander and his coaching staff are already busy planning for the 2012 season.
And he is quite optimistic that they can have another good season.
“At this level, you will lose about half of your players every year,” he said. “At this level we were playing at, we had predominantly sophomores. You would love to have a ’50-50’ split, but we have enough anchors coming back to be successful.
“On the mound, we have a great starting point with two guys – Vito Perna, who won 11 games, and Logan Riddell, who won 10 games. We have our top two hitters returning in Zach Allen and Vito. Chad Guice hit over .300 all year. Then we have returning guys and new guys coming in who will have a chance to win some spots.
“I like what I see on paper right now. But we will have the whole fall to instill our beliefs and our program and our style of play into these players.
“The ones that stick around will go out there and play the game the way our team has been playing the last three years. We have played the game hard, with determination, confidence and aggressiveness. That’s all I can ask for as a coach.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

GSW set for West showdown with No. 5 Bobcats

This weekend’s series with Georgia College could possibly be a make or break series for Georgia Southwestern.
The Bobcats, which were the preseason No. 1, is ranked fifth in the nation and lead the Peach Belt Western Division by two games over Columbus State and GSW.
“Like most weekends when you play in the Peach Belt Conference, it’s a big weekend,” said coach Bryan McLain. “But when you put the fact the team you’re playing is the No. 5 team in the country, that kind of adds more excitement to it. I think it’s a big opportunity for us. Our emotions are really high, and we’ll be excited to answer the challenge.”
The Hurricanes (18-13, 6-6 PBC) have won four of five games and were voted in at No. 30 in the latest baseball poll. They too two of three games from Flagler this weekend and will play the best offensive team in the PBC.
The Bobcats (23-8, 8-4) lead the league with a .319 batting average and boasts possibly the top two hitters in the conference in Shawn Ward and Tanner Funk. They are first and fourth in RBI and second and third in hits.
Funk is batting .422 with 34 RBI and 17 doubles while Ward is hitting .417 with 46 RBI, 10 doubles and four home runs.
Georgia College leads the PBC in hits, runs and total bases; the Bobcats have struck out the third-most times.
“They have good players, and the thing we’ve seen, they’re real patient at the plate; they’re disciplined,” said McLain. “They try to make you get yourself in bad situations where you become predictable, and when you become predictable from a pitching standpoint, it becomes a lot easier to hit.
“Ward’s got a lot of power. He was one of the top home run guys in the league last year, and I think he’s on pace to hit the same number. He drives the ball in gaps and scores runs. Every guy in the lineup can be in a position to hurt you. We’ve got to be sharp every time a guy steps into the box.”
The Hurricanes’ pitching staff is in the middle of the pack in earned run average (4.06) in the PBC. It is fifth in runs allowed, ninth in walks, and the 60 extra-base hits allowed is one of the lowest in the conference.
GSW will go with Trent Franzago (4-4, 2.62 ERA), Jody Sellars (1-3, 6.19) and Zach Whitman (3-2, 3.10) as its starters. Franzago’s ERA is ninth in the PBC among all starters.
“I don’t know if they’ve seen pitching like they’ll see when they see us,” said McLain. “For us, it’s just throwing strikes and being in the strike zone and pitching to contact. Our guys have really done a good job of that. They’re not being hesitant to throw to the plate and are trusting the guys behind them. They believe they can get you out.”
Michael Coffey heads the GSW offense, batting .373. He is fourth in the conference with 47 hits, and he has 18 RBI.
The Hurricanes are ninth in batting (.279), 10th in runs scored (162) and are near the bottom in extra base hits.
“The biggest thing for us offensively now and what we’ve focused on this past week is consistency,” said McLain. “It’s not a problem whether we can hit or not, but we struggle at different times in just being consistent with guys in scoring position and being consistent with our approach to the plate. We want to make them work to get plays against us.”
A sweep can put GSW in first place, but some losses can drop them toward the bottom in the West, too.
“Right now, they’re kind of the measuring stick of our league, and we’ll be able to see where we’re at and how we stand up. I like our chances,” said McLain.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ohio Bobcats to claw past Akron Zips in battle of red-hot MAC teams

The Ohio Bobcats and Akron Zips are two hot teams, but Ohio has covered the last three meetings and had a nice road win at Akron earlier this year, and the Bobcats now get the call at home.
A battle of two very hot teams highlights the MAC action on the NCAA Basketball matchups Tuesday night, as the Akron Zips (19-10 overall, 9-5 conference) pay a visit to the Ohio Bobcats (16-13 overall, 8-6 conference) at the Ohio Convocation Center in Athens, OH at 7:00 ET.
Something has to give here as Akron has won seven straight games both straight up and against the NCAA Basketball odds while home standing Ohio has won four straight games and six out of seven straight up and five in a row against the spread. Ohio also won in Akron earlier this season, and we are looking for the Bobcats to complete the season sweep at home.
The NCAA Basketball latest line from Pinnacle Sports for this contest is Ohio -1½ at home, with the betting odds set at -108.
The only loss for Ohio in the last seven games was by just two points on the road at Western Michigan, covering the number as three-point underdogs, and the three wins here at home during this streak have been by an average of +10.0 points. Yes, the Bobcats are only 9-8 straight up at home this season, but this team is obviously improving as the season has gone on and they have now won their last four games here in Athens since losing to the Buffalo Bulls January 22.
The Bobcats also seem to have the Zips’ number, as they have now covered three straight meetings vs. Akron with two of those covers coming in Akron and the other coming when they knocked the Zips out of the MAC Tournament 81-75 last season. Ohio now finally gets a chance to continue that mastery here at home for a change.
According to the Pomeroy Ratings, Ohio ranks a very decent 99th in the country in offensive efficiency, averaging 1.05 points per possession. That figure is significantly better than the national average of 1.01 points per touch. The Bobcats are also above average in effective field goal percentage at 50.5 percent, thanks to some very good three-point shooting, as they rank 71st in the last at 36.6 percent.
Furthermore, the Bobcats’ offensive numbers are up over the last five games, during which time they are averaging a whopping 78.8 points on 46.4 percent shooting and a blistering 41.2 percent from behind the three point arc.
Now the Zips have won seven straight, but as hot as the Zips have been, they still lag behind Ohio in offensive efficiency, ranking 158th at just an average 1.02 points per possession. They also trail the Bobcats slightly in effective field goal percentage at an even 50.0 percent, and they are also slightly behind in three-point shooting, although the Zips do rank very solid 85th at 36.0 percent.
So the offensive percentages are very similar between these teams, with Ohio holding only slight advantages in each category, although the gaps may be a tad wider tonight with Ohio playing at home. One crucial difference between these clubs though is that if Akron does not hit its shots initially, it does not figure to get many second chances.
This is because the Zips rank just 286th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, grabbing their own missed shots only 28.8 percent of the time. By contrast, the Bobcats figure to get more garbage points, as their offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 percent is above the national average of 32.3 percent.
Now at the other end of the court, the Ohio defense was the main reason the team was off to a 10-12 start in NCAA Basketball betting, as the Bobcats rank only 245th in defensive efficiency, surrendering 1.06 points per possession overall. However, they have played much better defense at home this year, allowing 69.5 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting, and one area where Ohio has been quite solid is in forcing turnovers.
The Ohio defense is forcing turnovers on 22.2 percent of opponents’ possessions,, which ranks 65th in the country and is well above the national average of 20.3 percent. While that pressure defense only created 13 Akron turnovers in the first meeting this season, it did force the Zips into quite a few bad shots as they hit on only 23 of 62 field goal attempts for 37.1 percent.
Akron will probably shoot better than that here, but probably not well enough to prevent an Ohio cover on the NCAA Basketball betting odds at home.