ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University men's basketball team (17-6, 7-3) used yet another second half surge to defeat rival Miami (9-12, 5-5), 82-75, before 10,669 fans in the Convocation Center Saturday.
The Bobcats outscored the Redhawks 50-28 in the second half and held Miami to just 12.5 percent shooting from 3-point land in the period.
The defense was much improved in the second half, as the 'Cats forced the RedHawks into eight turnovers and limited Miami to 40.7 shooting after the visitors knocked down 14-of-26 attempts in the opening stanza.
Ohio shot better than 50 percent (52.7, 29-55) from the field for the third-straight game and made 11-of-29 3-pointers (.379) on the day. The 'Cats also dished out 21 assists while committing just 10 turnovers.
Senior guards Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) and senior Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) led the way for Ohio during a pair of stellar afternoons. The two guards combined for 50 points and 10 3-pointers, including 28 points in the second half. Kellogg's 27 points and Wilkins 23 were both career highs.
Wilkins knocked down 7-of-9 shot attempts on the day, including a career-best six 3-pointers on eight attempts (.750). The six 3-pointers from Wilkins were the most by a Bobcat since Walter Offutt knocked down six against top-ranked North Carolina on March 23, 2012 in the Sweet 16.
Kellogg hit 10-of-18 attempts on the day and dished out four assists. The senior knocked down four 3-pointers and is now just three 3-pointers away from tying Tommy Freeman for second place all-time at Ohio.
Junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal) chipped in 14 points (5-9 FG) and eight rebounds in the winning effort, while junior guard Stevie Taylor (Gahanna, Ohio) added nine points and a team-high six assists.
Miami got off to a hot start out of the gate, racing out to a 13-5 lead. The Redhawks shot 7-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half and took a 47-32 lead into halftime.
Ohio scored the first four points of the second half prompting Miami to take a timeout just two minutes into the half. Miami responded to take a 54-38 lead with 15:16 left to play.
From that point on it was all Ohio. Wilkins' three 3-pointers fueled Ohio's 22-5 run over the next 10 minutes of the second half. A jump shot from senior Jon Smith gave Ohio a 60-59 lead with 5:58 remaining in the game.
After two lead changes, and the game being tied at 65, Kellogg converted on his fourth 3-pointer to give Ohio a 68-65 lead that the Bobcats would not surrender.
The 'Cats are now an impressive 7-4 when trailing at the half this season. Ohio has rallied from second half deficits of 10-or-more points in six of their past 12 games and have won all six of them.
Ohio will be back in action on the road at Toledo (20-3, 8-2) on Wednesday (Feb. 12). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel/ESPN3.