Feb. 11, 2012
YPSILANTI, Mich. — Ohio dropped its final regular-season game against a Mid-American Conference West Division foe this evening when it lost at Eastern Michigan, 68-55. The Bobcats fell to 7-4 in league play and maintain an overall mark of 19-6.
Reggie Keely scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, matching the best mark by a Bobcat this season on the glass. It was the junior's first double-double of the season and fifth of his career.
D.J. Cooper (15 points) and Walter Offutt (11 points) both scored in double figures and had four of Ohio's six three-pointers, However the duo shot a combined 6-for-21 from the field. Ohio set season lows for field goal percentage (31.3) and field goals made (15).
Ohio didn't score its first points of the game until the 9:50 mark in the first half and at that point trailed by nine. EMU would keep the lead at eight, 19-11, with 4:24 left in the first half, but the 'Cats would cut the deficit to four with 3:06 left after a Cooper three and a Ricardo Johnson free throw.
EMU then went on an 8-0 run before Stevie Taylor would score on a reverse layup with 13 seconds left to finish the half with Ohio trailing, 27-17.
EMU made 10-of-19 field goals in the first half for 52.6 percent while holding Ohio to just 22.7 percent on 5-of-22. The 17 points scored was the lowest output in a half this season for the Bobcats and the fewest scored in a first half during the John Groce era (18 at BG, 3/8/09). Ohio did have a rebounding edge in the first half and forced 11 turnovers.
With 11:20 to play, Keely converted two free throw to bring Ohio within six at 36-30. Ohio would not get any closer until the 3:39 mark when Offutt drilled a three. After EMU hit a triple, Cooper answered right back to make it a two-possession game with 2:45 to play.
However, EMU closed on a 12-4 run to end the game and won by double digits. It was the most points scored by the Eagles since a 74-70 loss to Colgate back on Dec. 1.
The Eagles never looked back in recording their 11th win of the season. More importantly for the home team, it kept possession of first place in the MAC West Division at 6-5. Derek Thompson scored a season-high 23 points off the bench to lead the Eagles while Antonio Green added 13 and Jamell Harris chipped in 12 to go along with a team-best seven rebounds.
EMU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, going 8-of-12 from beyond the arc. The Eagles also finished 24-of-33 at the line after only two first-half attempts.
Ohio finished 19-of-31 at the line and was a +7 on the offensive glass a +5 in the turnover battle.
The 'Cats return home for a Wednesday night contest with Bowling Green. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.