ATHENS, Ohio - Junior guard Walter Offutt scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the second half to lead the Ohio University men's basketball team (19-4; 7-2 MAC) to a 68-42 victory over Central Michigan Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
Joining Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) in double figures was sophomore guard Nick Kellogg (Columbus, Ohio) as he tallied 14 points, going 5-of-11 from the field. Offutt's 17-point performance marked the 16th time this season he has scored in double figures.
Junior guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) also turned in a strong performance as he just missed his second triple double of the season as he closed with nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. His seven rebounds were a team-best.
The Bobcats held Central Michigan to season-lows of 42 points and 28.8 percent shooting from the field. Ohio shot 40 percent from the field for the game, but hit at a 50 percent clip from the field during the second half, including a 70 percent mark from 3-point range during the final 20 minutes.
With the win, Ohio improved to 12-1 at home and 18-8 against MAC West teams since John Groce took over as head coach. The win was also Ohio's sixth straight triumph.
Ohio jumped out to an early 9-1 advantage thanks to three straight 3-pointers. Central Michigan trimmed Ohio's lead to four at 15-11 with 10:16 to go until the break, but that was as close as the Chippewas would get for the remainder of the first half.
The Bobcats followed Central Michigan's run with an 11-3 charge, which gave Ohio a 26-14 lead at the 4:55 mark of the first half. Cooper scored four points during the stretch.
CMU came right back with six straight point to cut the Bobcats' lead back to single digits, but Ohio went on to hold the Chippewas scoreless for the remainder of the half and took a 33-20 lead into the locker room.
Ohio held a 22-19 rebounding advantage and forced CMU into nine turnovers.
Cooper led all first half scorers as he poured in nine points on 2-of-5 shooting. He also connected on 4-of-5 shots from the free throw line.
In the second half, Ohio's lead never fell below double digits. Offutt had the hot hand for the Bobcats coming out of the locker room as he connected on three 3-pointers to give Ohio an 18-point lead (46-28) with 13:38 to go in the game.
The Bobcats led by as many as 26 points in the second half as they went on to secure the win.
Ohio returns to action on Wednesday as it heads north to take on Toledo, beginning at 7 p.m.