The Ohio Bobcats will head on the road to take on the Iona Gaels in non-conference action Wednesday night from the Hynes Athletic Center. The Bobcats finished last season with a 14-17 record and came away with an 88-50 win against Heidelberg in their previous action. The Gaels filed a 17-16 record last season and fell 70-64 in overtime to La Salle in their season opener.
Ohio Eyes Third Straight Win
The Ohio Bobcats are playing with confidence early this season. They were 11 point underdogs in their season opener against St. Bonaventure and posted a big 65-53 road win. Their second game was no challenge against Division III Heidelberg which resulted in an 88-50 home win.
The Bobcats have a new head coach in Jeff Boals. Ohio lost its top three scorers from last season and this season could be a tough one as a result. Ben Vander Plas is their leading returning scorer. The sophomore forward averaged 8.6 points in 2018-2019, and he is locked in through two games, accumulating a combined 30 points on 10 for 15 shooting.
A player to watch for is Jordan Dartis. The senior guard missed all of last season due to injury, and his return is a welcome sight. Dartis had a big 2017-2018 season, logging an average of 13.1 points and shot a sizzling 42% from beyond the arc. Dartis has tallied 28 points through two games this year. Jason Preston is also expected to play a big role after scoring an average of six points last year.
Ohio was selected to finish in last place in the MAC in the preseason poll. The Bobcats 70.1 points last season, placing them 241st in the country. Ohio conceded an average of 73.8 points, pegging them 243rd overall.
Iona Poised for Another Big Season
The Iona Gaels are expected to be the top team in the MAAC this season. They enter their home opener hungry for a win after a tough 70-64 overtime road loss to La Salle on Saturday in a game that had the Gaels as a one-point favorite. The Gaels return four of their five top scorers on a team that won the MACC last season. E.J Crawford is one of the top offensive players in the entire conference. The senior guard averaged a sizzling 17.7 points on 50% shooting and he also posted 5.1 rebounds. Crawford couldn’t find his shooting touch in Saturday’s defeat, connecting on only 5 of 17 shots for 17 points.
Tajuan Agee is also one of the top players in the MAAC. The senior forward averaged 13.2 points and a team-best eight rebounds last season. Agee should post multiple double-doubles this year. Asante Gist also returns to the fold average finishing with 12.5 PPG last year.
The Gaels were the clear favorite in the preseason poll as they were picked to finish first in the MAAC. Iona should pour on the points this season after averaging 76.7 points in 2018-2019, ranking them 73rd in the country. The Gaels conceded an average of 76 points, pegging them down at 284th overall.
The Ohio Bobcats are:
- 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 road games.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight-up win.
The top supporting trends found on covers.com are as follows: The Iona Gaels are:
- 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.