Created on Thursday, 19 December 2013 Written by CHAD LINDSKOG, Associated Press
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's wait to beat a ranked team will continue.
No. 22 Massachusetts remained unbeaten Wednesday night with an 83-71 over the Bobcats, who last beat a Top 25 team 15 years ago.
The Minutemen (10-0) shot 61.5 percent from the field (32 of 53) while Ohio (7-3) was 28 of 69 (40.6 percent) but made just five of 24 attempts from beyond the arc (20.8 percent).
"We had a lot of open looks — I had two myself, but missed them," Ohio forward T.J. Hall said. "We need those shots to beat teams like UMass, Oakland and other teams that we have lost to."
Ohio was playing its first home game against a ranked opponent since 1997.
Maurice Ndour paced the Bobcats with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. He made four of five free throw attempts, despite Ohio converting just 10 of 17 from the line overall.
"I missed a lot of shots down in the paint, but defensively, they (UMass) didn't do anything that could prevent me from scoring," Ndour said.
Ohio allowed double-doubles from UMass' Maxie Esho (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Chaz Williams (11 points, 11 assists).
The Minutemen led by as many as 19 points.
"They were getting to the basket way too easy and we did a poor job today defensively," Ndour said.
Sampson Carter added 14 points, including eight straight in the second half, while Derrick Gordon scored 13 points and Raphiael Putney added 11 for the Minutemen.
"I thought we played really well offensively," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "We're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of different players."
Aside from Ndour, the only other Bobcat to finish with double-digit points was Nick Kellogg, who made two second half 3-pointers and had 12 points.
"We wanted to make sure that we stayed connected with him (Nick Kellogg) and made the game hard on him," Derek Kellogg said. "If you have an older team, they can do a good job of paying attention to scouting reports more so than when you have younger guys and I think that's been a good advantage for us."
UMass led 45-34 at halftime after being ahead by as many as 13 points in the first half. The Minutemen shot 65 percent from the field in the first half while the Bobcats shot 42 percent including going just 1 of 11 from beyond the arc.
The Bobcats cut the deficit to 53-47 with 16 minutes remaining, but UMass scored nine consecutive points — six by Esho — to pull away.
"Every time we got back in the game, you know, we made a double mistake," Ohio coach Jim Christian said. "We'd have a bad possession on offense and combine it with a bad defensive possession, so I give them credit, they made us pay."
Ohio's point guards — Stevie Taylor and Javarez Willis — both played 20 minutes, but Taylor finished with just one assist, while Willis had four.
"It's not effort with our team, it's execution," Christian said. "There were times we got caught up in the emotion of the game and they don't, because they're a much more experienced team than us."
The Bobcats finished with a 38-37 rebound advantage and turned the ball over just eight times, while forcing 15 turnovers.
"I told the team it's a reference point," Christian said. "We're going to be in big games, so now we have something to look back on."