LIMA - In opening the season with four wins in its first 12 games, there was plenty the University of Northwestern Ohio men's basketball team had to work on during a nine-day layoff between games.
The break ended Wednesday at Racer Gymnasium and the Racers showed absolutely no signs of rust, along with plenty of improvement, in a record-setting 111-47 win over OSU-Lima/Rhodes State. The margin of victory is the most in UNOH history, and the 111 points is the second most in history.
The game got out of hand early, with the Racers (5-8) running out to a 25-0 lead, keyed by three Johnny Elliott dunks and 12 points from Jake Bolyard. It took nearly five minutes for the Barons (4-10) to score and almost 11 minutes, 30 seconds before they broke double figures.
"We tried to break down and segment our issues from the first 12 games, the good things and the bad things. We took a teaching-type of approach," UNOH coach Chris Adams said. "These last five practices over Christmas break, we tried to be attentive to those issues. I was happy tonight when we finally came out against another appointment, we were addressing those issues. As a longtime coach and teacher, you like to see your kids making strides."
Four players scored in double figures for UNOH, led by Bolyard's 26 points. The sophomore guard hit 11-of-17 from the floor, along with four rebounds and four steals. Elliott and Jon Slagle each scored 13 points; Slagle added six rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Elliott dished out nine assists. Chris Cromity added 12 points.
The Racers made 55 percent from the floor (45-of-82) and 40 percent from 3-point distance (12-of-30). They out-rebounded the Barons 50-34 and forced 23 turnovers. The Racers finished with seven turnovers, none in the first half.
"I thought they made strides in the directions we needed to go," Adams said. "
Brady Schroeder led OSU-Lima/Rhodes State with 19 points.
The Racers hit the road for a matchup with Calumet College of St. Joseph, near Chicago, on Wednesday. Their next home game is January 7 in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference matchup with Concordia University.
"We have to try to get a good, quality road win," Adams said. "What we're trying to do is go on the road and get this young team road-ready, to say you have no margin of error and try to get a win to make Santa happy for Christmas, and the head coach."