OXFORD, Ohio -- The Ohio University men's basketball team (14-5, 5-0 MAC) collected its sixth straight victory Wednesday night as it defeated Miami University (7-10, 2-3 MAC), 74-62, inside Millett Hall.
Ohio's win over the RedHawks marked the first time the `Cats have opened league play 5-0 since the 1998-99 season. It also marks the first time since 2001-02 Ohio has won its first two MAC games on the road.
Senior guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) led Ohio with 17 points, seven rebounds and a game-high nine assists, while junior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
During the game, Baltic became the 34th player in Ohio history to post 1,000 career points and also reached the 600-rebound plateau for his career.
The `Cats shot over 50 percent (.520; 26-50) for the sixth time in seven games and held Miami to just 34.9 percent (22-63) for the game. Ohio has now held its opponent under 40 percent shooting in five of the past six contests.
Ohio, which entered the game ranked first in the country in assists per game (19.4), posted 21 assists against the RedHawks. The `Cats also connected on 12-of-25 3-pointers (.480).
Miami's Will Felder scored six of the game's first eight points as the RedHawks jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. With Miami up 12-9, Cooper nailed a deep three-pointer to tie the game and two more triples from Kellogg and junior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) broke the Miami 2-3 zone and pushed Ohio ahead, 18-12.
The `Cats extended the lead to seven (25-18) on Wilkins' second 3-pointer of the half, and took a nine-point lead on a fast-break lay-in by sophomore Kadeem Green (Toronto, Canada) with 1:41 to go in the half.
A last-second floater off the glass from Cooper gave Ohio a 36-29 edge at the break. The Bobcats shot 56.5 percent (13-23) in the first half and connected on 6-of-11 3-point attempts. Ohio distributed assists on 12-of-13 baskets in the period and held a 15-8 edge in bench scoring. Cooper led the Green and White with eight points, five assists and two steals in the stanza.
Ohio knocked down three more 3-pointers to start the second half on a 12-5 run and open a 48-34 lead over the RedHawks. The `Cats connected on five of their first eight triples of the second half, including two from Kellogg, and led 54-36 with 15:04 to go in the game.
A lay-in by Cooper at the 13:51 mark completed a 16-2 run for Ohio and the Bobcats led by 22 (58-36) at that point, but Miami closed within 10 (71-61) with 3:47 to play in the game.
Free throws by senior guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Cooper moved Ohio back in front by 13, and the RedHawks could not move any closer than 12 for the remainder of the contest.
Ohio remains on the road for a Saturday (Jan. 26) contest at Kent State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. The game will be televised locally on SportsTime Ohio and can be seen across the nation on ESPN3. Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play duties while Dave Cecutti will provide color commentary. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon.