Jan. 7, 2012
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Ohio erased all of a 13-point deficit only to fall at Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams on Saturday night, 67-57. The Bobcats dropped their third-straight MAC opener but still sit at 12-3 on the season.
"I was disappointed in our toughness. They got to every loose ball, they came up with big rebounds," said Head Coach John Groce. "There's a toughness that you have to have in this league to close out possessions, close out games. That nastiness I thought they (Bowling Green) had tonight, we did not have. Until we get it figured out, we're going to be disappointed an awful lot."
Trailing 52-39 with 7:50 to play in the contest, Ohio scored 17 of the next 21 points to tie the score, 56-56 with 1:59 in regulation. The run started when Stevie Taylor and Ivo Baltic each converted old-fashioned three-point plays. After a Scott Thomas three-pointer put BG back up double figures, D.J. Cooper scored five-straight points to trim the margin in half.
Out of a timeout, Baltic hit a midrange jumper and off a Falcon turnover, Reggie Keely converted down low to get the Bobcats within one. A'uston Calhoun made one of two free throws before a layup by Walter Offutt knotted the scoreboard.
However, Torian Oglesby, who coming into the game had made a NCAA Division I record 26 consecutive field goal attempts, scored his first two buckets of the game on the next possession and gave the Falcons a four-point cushion with 1:24 to play. Ohio did not score another field goal after Offutt's layup.
Cooper led the Bobcats with 15 points, but was 5-of-17 from the field. Baltic had 14 points and five assists, but also turned the ball over five times. Offutt had 11 points, five rebounds and a career-best five steals for the 'Cats. On the night, Ohio shot just 38 percent (32.3 in the second half), while BG shot 52 percent from the field.
Ohio jumped out to a 6-0 lead, getting two buckets from Jon Smith before BG countered with a 10-0 run of its own. Trailing 21-18, the Green & White used a 9-0 run which gave it the lead at intermission. Baltic scored six points and Nick Kellogg buried his only three-pointer of the night during the spurt.
The teams were almost even at halftime with Ohio holding a 27-26 lead. Both squads had the same number of three-pointers, rebounds and turnovers while shooting in the high 40's from the field. Dee Brown scored nine of his 13 points in the first half to lead the Falcons.
BG gained its first bit of separation when Scott Thomas drilled a three-pointer to put the home side up 41-34 with almost seven minutes gone in the second half. Thomas finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. With the Falcons leading 43-39, they went on a 9-0 run, getting three successive layups from Jordon Crawford to take their largest lead of the game. Crawford scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second stanza.
The Bobcats return home on Wednesday to play Buffalo at 7 p.m.