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Ohio routs Miami 86-63 for 9th straight win

Vander Plas scores 20 points, Sears 17

OXFORD Ben Vander Plas scored 23 points as Ohio dominated rival Miami 86-63 in the Battle of the Bricks Tuesday night at Millett Hall.

Vander Plas had 20 points by halftime and added six rebounds, four steals and three assists steals on the night. Mark Sears scored 17 points with nine assists, four rebounds and three steals in the ninth straight win for the Bobcats (14-2, 5-0 Mid-American Conference).

Ohio beat Miami for the fifth straight time and is now 18-3 against its rival since the 2011-12 season.

"I thought this was the first time we kind of played a complete 40 minutes on both ends," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "The mindset coming in was the be the aggressor, play hard, be relentless. I thought we set the tone defensively and carried over to the half. And then we talked to halftime about how Miami has been down before made a push made a run. I think I was most proud of our guys sustaining the same effort coming in second half."

The Bobcats built a 45-27 lead by halftime, pushed their advantage to 30 in the first five minutes of the second half and led by as many as 35 points on back-to-back Tommy Schmock 3-pointers that made it 78-43 with 8:08 remaining.

Ohio shot 50.9%, compared to 36.5% for the RedHawks, held a 36-31 rebounding advantage and forced 15 turnovers.

An 8-0 run in the first half is where the Bobcats really began to take control, putting them up 18-6, and then they score the final six points of the half to make it an 18-point game. A 16-3 run early in the first half helped put the game away early.

"I think we were struggling for a while to go into the second half and kind of extend games a little bit," Vander Plas said. "We've kind of held the lead but let them back into it a little bit, so we were finally able to string together 40 minutes and kind of keep that separation the whole second half so that was big for us."

Jason Carter scored 13 points with five rebounds for Ohio. Schmock had nine points and four assists, and Miles Brown returned to the lineup with eight points.

Dae Dae Grant led Miami (8-8, 2-3 MAC) with 11 points and nine rebounds, with Marr Avance adding 10 points.

The Bobcats face a big test when they host Toledo at 6 p.m. Friday at The Convo on CBS Sports Network.

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