ATHENS, Ohio — Mid-American Conference Player of the Year candidate Antonio Campbell had a game-high 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead Ohio University in an 87-56 win over the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in men’s basketball action before an announced crowd of 9,138 at the Convocation Center.
The game was designated as an exhibition for both schools and did not count toward either’s won-loss record.
Campbell connected on five of his eight field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers, and was 5-for-7 at the free throw in just 20 minutes of action for the NCAA Division I Bobcats.
Rio Grande, which knocked off Wright State University-Lake in its exhibition opener on Friday night, shot just 28.6 percent from the floor, was outscored 11-1 at the free throw line and committed 11 turnovers in the first half as Ohio built a 38-17 lead at the intermission.
Campbell had 14 of his points in the opening half as the Bobcats built their 21-point cushion at the break.
The RedStorm closed the deficit to 14 points with a 7-0 run to begin the second half, but OU countered with a 7-0 run of their own and Rio got no closer the rest of the way.
The Bobcats’ biggest lead of the day was 39 points on two occasions in the second half – 66-27 following a three-pointer by Khari Harley with 10:24 remaining and 68-29 after a Rodney Culver stickback of an offensive rebound with 9:07 left.
Three other players reached double figures in the winning effort for Ohio, which shot 54.3 percent (19-for-35) in the second half.
Jason Carter dropped in 15 points, while Jordan Dartis and Jaaron Simmons had 13 points each. Simmons also had four assists.
Sophomore Abe Eze (Lagos, Nigeria) and freshman Marko Minic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Rio Grande with eight points each. Eze was limited to just seven minutes of action due to foul trouble.
Senior Josh Thompson (Bronx, NY) snared a team-best nine rebounds for the RedStorm, while freshman Raul Timoner (Alaior, Spain) had a game-high five assists to go along with eight rebounds.
Rio Grande finished 22-for-61 overall (36.1%), but was just 4-for-23 (17.4%) from three-point range. The RedStorm also finished with 20 turnovers.
“We struggled scoring – they might be the best Division I team we’ve ever played. I think they’ll be in the tournament,” said Rio Grande head coach Ken French. “I thought our effort, defensively, was really good after last night. We guarded really well at times. They shot 33 percent in the first half.”
Rio Grande opens its regular season schedule on Tuesday at Taylor (IN) University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.