VMI nips Ohio, 92-90
ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio University saw its men’s basketball season come to an end in a hard-fought 92-90 loss to visiting Virginia Military Institute in the CollegeInsider.com tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at the Convocation Center.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg poured in a career-high 30 points in his final game as a Bobcat, matching his career high in 3-pointers by knocking down six.
Junior forward Maurice Ndour finished two points shy of matching his career high, totaling 26 points. Ndour knocked down a career-best 12-of-13 field-goal attempts and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Redshirt junior guard Javarez Willis tallied 13 points. He also dished out a game-high six assists to match his career high.
Ohio (25-12) used a hot start from Ndour to jump out to a 17-point lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half. The junior post player totaled 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting while the ‘Cats’ defense limited the Keydets to just 32.4 precent from the field to take a 46-39 advantage into the break.
VMI opened the second stanza on a 20-13 run to tie the contest at 59-all with 11:36 left in regulation. The Keydets went on a 27-15 tear over the next seven minutes to grab their largest advantage of the game (84-72) with just under four minutes to play.
The Bobcats clawed their way back, though Ohio used two layups by Ndour, a layup by Willis and two free throws by Kellogg to shave the deficit to six points (86-80) with 2:13 to go. A trey by Kellogg with just under two to play put an exclamation point on the 11-2 run that pulled Ohio to within three.
The Keydets countered, though, with a layup with 36 seconds left, but Willis drew a foul and sank both freebies to make it a three-point affair (88-85) with 20 seconds to play. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, VMI capped the night off from the charity stripe, sinking four free throws down the final stretch to seal the victory.
Fittingly, Kellogg, the Mid-American Conference’s all-time three-point king, hit a trey at the buzzer to end his career. The Bobcat seniors will hang up their jerseys as the all-time winningest class in program history (97 career wins).
Ohio finished the 2013-14 season with 25 victories for the third time in program history and made a school-record fifth consecutive postseason tournament appearance – one of just six NCAA Division I schools to achieve the feat in football and men’s basketball.