ATHENS, Ohio - Junior guard D.J. Cooper's 3-pointer from the top of the key rimmed out as time expired which handed the Ohio University men's basketball team (12-2) a 70-67 setback to Robert Morris Monday night at the Convocation Center.
Fellow juniors Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) and Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) finished the game with 14 points apiece, while Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) added 13 points and seven assists. Keely's 14 points came in 25 minutes off the bench.
Ohio's loss was its first at home this season and its first at home since Jan. 22, 2011. The loss also snapped Ohio's nine-game winning streak.
The Bobcats shot just 35 percent compared to RMU's 53.2 percent from the floor, but the Ohio forced Robert Morris into a season-high 31 turnovers. Keely posted a career-high four steals.
Robert Morris opened up an 8-2 lead at the 16:40 mark of the first half, but the Cats' responded by outscoring the Colonials 10-6 over the next three and half minutes to cut RMU's lead to 14-12 with 13:03 to go in the first half. Keely keyed the Bobcats run as he scored six points during the stretch.
Following the Cats' run, Robert Morris fired back with a run of its own and opened up a 10-point advantage with 8:42. The Colonials maintained a double digit lead with 2:55 until the break, leading 32-21, but the Cats' closed the half with a 10-1 spurt and went into the locker room trailing by just two points (33-31).
Cooper closed out the half with a 3-pointer as time expired. The Colonials trailed for only 54 seconds and led by as many as 11 points in the first half. The Bobcats' 11-point deficit was their largest of the season.
Cooper led all first half scorers with 11 points , while Keely added nine points, connecting on 3-of-5 from the field. RMU shot 63.2 percent from the field and held a 19-9 rebounding advantage.
In the second half, RMU started strong as it outscored the Ohio 13-4 to open up a 46-35 lead with 15 minutes remaining to go in the game. Ohio stormed back and as it outscored the Colonials 19-6 to take its first lead of the game since the 19:43 mark of the first half.
Sophomore guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) capped the surge as he connected on a 3-pointer, which gave the Bobcats a 54-52 lead with 10:48 to go in the game. The Colonials came right back as they outscored Ohio 8-2 over the five minutes to take a 60-56 lead.
Ohio remained within five points until the 1:13 mark of the second half when the Colonials opened up a six-point lead. RMU would eventually increase that lead to eight with 1:07 to play and appeared to be cruising along to its 11th victory on the year.
The Cats' had other ideas, as they rallied back to cut RMU's lead to just three points with 49 seconds to play. On the ensuing in-bound play, Ohio stole the ball and had possession with 43 seconds remaining, but were unable to score as RMU secured the win.
Ohio returns to action on Saturday as it opens up Mid-American Conference play at Bowling Green. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.