Setty matched his career with 20 points to lead all scorers thanks to a 9-of-17 shooting effort. He also . . .
"My teammates gave me the ball, and the shots were kind of falling,” Setty said. “The most important thing is we got the win.”
Junior forward Antonio Campbell just missed out on his fifth-straight double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. He shot 7-of-12 from the field. Campbell also recorded two assists and a team-high two blocks in 26 minutes.
Redshirt sophomore guard Jaaron Simmons went a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe to finish with 15 points in addition to dishing out a game-high eight assists. He also hauled in four rebounds and recorded a steal in 30 minutes.
Senior guard Jaylen Bland shot 5-of-8 from three-point range to lead UC Riverside with 15 points. He also totaled two assists, two rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes. Freshman center Menno Dijkstra went 5-of-5 from the field to finish with 10 points and hauled in a team-high six rebounds in 25 minutes of work off of the bench for the Highlanders.
The Bobcats dominated the stats sheet. Ohio shot 44.6 percent (29-of-65) from the field while limiting UC Riverside to 39.3 percent (22-of-56). The Green & White shot a season-best 95.2 percent (20-of-21) from the free throw line.
The Bobcats out-rebounded the Highlanders, 44-27, and match their season high with nine steals while committing only nine turnovers and forcing 13 by UC Riverside. Ohio also led the way in points in the paint (46-26), points off turnovers (18-12) and second chance points (13-4).
Ohio took an early seven-point lead at 11-4 with just under 16 minutes to play in the first half, with Setty providing six points during the stretch and Dartis knocking down a three.
A 14-8 run by UC Riverside shaved the Bobcats' edge down to one at 19-18 with just over seven minutes to go in the half. The Highlanders utilized two treys by Bland and pair of layups by Dijkstra to help make it a one-point game.
The Bobcats responded by outscoring UC Riverside by a 15-5 count over the ensuing six minutes, taking advantage of seven points by Campbell – including a conventional three-point play and a dunk -- as well as four points by Setty to build their lead up to a half-high 11 points at 34-23 with just over a minute to go in the first half.
The Highlanders received a pair of threes from Bland and senior guard Steven Jones in the final minutes of the half to shave Ohio's lead back down to single digits at 36-29 at the halftime break.
Ohio set the tone for a dominating second half right away, opening the final 20 minutes of play with an 11-0 run over the first two-plus minutes. A jumper by Setty, a layup and a pair of free throws by Simmons, a trey by Dartis and a layup by Campbell built Ohio's lead up to 18 at 47-29.
Ohio's lead swelled to a game-high 26 points at 59-33 with just under 13 minutes to go as Simmons converted a conventional three-point opportunity. The Bobcats never led by less than 18 points the rest of the way, thanks in large part to Simmons pouring in 13 second-half points.
"It's progress, that's all it is,” head coach Saul Phillips said. I'm not ready to parade down Court Street with confetti flying yet, but I am excited to start conference play because we took a step forward tonight as a team."
The Bobcats open 2016 Mid-American Conference play with a visit to DeKalb, Ill., next Wednesday (Jan. 6) for an 8 p.m. ET matchup against West Division foe Northern Illinois.
(Courtesy of OU Athletics)