Feb. 5, 2009
Postgame Quotes in PDF Format
Box Score in PDF Format
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University used a dominating 20-0 run mid-way through the first half to build a 20-point halftime advantage, and never looked back in an 89-59 win over the visiting Northern Illinois men's basketball team (6-14, 2-6 MAC) at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio, Thursday night. The 30-point margin of defeat was NIU's largest such setback this season.
Mid-American Conference leading scorer and rebounder Jerome Tillman led all scorers, pacing the Bobcats with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a 9-for-10 effort from the free throw line. Justin Orr (16 points) and Kenneth Van Kempen (12) also tallied double-digit scoring outputs for Ohio.
NIU was led by Darion "Jake" Anderson's 17 points, including 15 in the second half. Michael Patton chipped in 11 points, and Mike DiNunno added 10, including the first eight points of the game.
The Huskies shot a season-best 83 percent (10-of-12) from the free throw line, but the Bobcats countered with an 87.5 percent effort from the charity stripe. Ohio had 28 more attempts from the free throw line than did NIU. NIU has now lost a season-high four-consecutive games. NIU head coach Ricardo Patton was ejected from the game with 11:38 remaining after picking up his second technical foul.
The Huskies were forced into eight first half turnovers, and Ohio converted those miscues into 12 points, en route to a 42-22 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. DiNunno scored NIU's first eight points, and the Huskies clung to an 8-7 advantage at the frame's initial media timeout (14:38).
The Bobcats built a two-point (12-10) lead at the second media break (11:15) of the opening half, but put the defensive clamps down, and went on a dominating 20-0 run, pushing their lead to 32-12. NIU was held scoreless for just over seven minutes during the stretch. Both teams traded baskets down the stretch of the first half, with NIU's Michael Patton providing the final five points of the stanza for the Huskies.
Ohio continued its charge in the second half, eventually building its largest lead of 37 points (89-52) with 2:35 remaining. The Huskies were out-scored in the second half, 47-37. The Bobcats set season-highs in points, assists (22) and free throws (35), and Ohio's free throw percentage was also a season-best mark.
Northern Illinois will have a short turnaround, traveling to Buffalo, N.Y., to face the MAC-East leading Buffalo Bulls on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off from Alumni Arena is set for 1 p.m. CST.