Ohio redshirt senior guard Taylor Agler (#0) dribbles up the court during the first quarter of the Bobcats’ 69-58 win over Bowling Green on Feb. 17.
Bob Boldon only needs two more wins to reach 100 as head coach for Ohio. Marsha Reall, who coached from 1990-99, is the only coach in program history to have 100 or more wins.
Boldon has been the coach of the Bobcats for five years, but right now he’s not focused on his upcoming milestone.
No, Boldon and Ohio are focused on defeating Kent State.
The Bobcats will play the Golden Flashes at home Wednesday at 7 p.m. With only four games left in the regular season, Boldon and the Bobcats are focused on earning a top-four seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
“We’re just going to try to win as many as these games as we can to get ourselves the best seed that we can get in the conference tournament,” Boldon said.
Currently, Ohio is tied for fourth in the conference with Miami. But Ohio doesn’t hold the tiebreaker over Miami because it lost to the Redhawks 64-55 in late January. The Bobcats’ last home game of the season will be against the Redhawks on Feb. 28.
A top-four seed is coveted because it would give the Bobcats a first-round bye, meaning they would travel straight to Cleveland instead of playing at a campus site during the first round of the tournament. And then, if they won the first-round game, the Bobcats would make the trip to Cleveland.
The latter scenario isn’t desirable, though. One reason for that is because the Bobcats would have to play at a campus site March 5. If they won that first-round game, they’d have to travel from wherever the campus is to Cleveland for the quarterfinals, which are March 7.
That would be a fair amount of traveling, with the only somewhat desirable situations being playing at Kent State or Akron — two schools that are close to Cleveland — in the first round.
That isn’t likely to happen though because Ohio would have home-court advantage over Akron, and they’d also likely have home-court advantage against Kent State. The Bobcats would still have to make the trip from Athens to Cleveland.
Also, if the Bobcats played in the first round, they’d have to win four games in six days to win the tournament.
“It’s important to get a good seed because that means you showed some discipline throughout the season to earn that seed,” Boldon said.
These next four games will be the most important stretch of the regular season for Ohio. The stretch begins with Kent State, a team that challenged Ohio throughout in the first game of the season series.
The Bobcats beat the Golden Flashes 78-65 on Feb. 10. They started off well in the first quarter, holding a 21-13 lead at the end. But in the second quarter, the Bobcats committed 10 turnovers and were outscored 15-12.
“I think we just kind of lost our focus and lost our energy going into that second quarter,” Dominique Doseck said.
The Bobcats only made three shots from the field in the quarter, so they had to regroup at halftime. And they did. The Bobcats played with energy in the second half and controlled the tempo.
As the Bobcats prepare for the Golden Flashes, playing with energy throughout the game will be the focus again.