Feb. 13, 2013
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Ohio University men's basketball team (18-6, 9-1 MAC) won its third-straight game with an 82-63 victory over Central Michigan University (9-15, 2-9 MAC) Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena.
With the win, the Ohio senior class of forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.), guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.), forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio), guard David McKinley (Dublin, Ohio) and guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) set a new program record with 88 career victories as a class.
They surpassed the previous mark of 87 set by the 1982-86 class.
The Bobcats are now 9-1 in the Mid-American Conference and 5-1 in road conference games for the first time since 1984-85. Ohio's five MAC road wins are the most by the `Cats since 2001-02.
Offutt led Ohio with 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Keely added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Keely is now just two points away from 1,000 for his career.
Junior forward Ricardo Johnson (Covington, Ky.) chipped in 11 points and three rebounds off the bench, and junior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) dished out a career-best and team-leading five assists. With Johnson's 3-of-5 shooting performance, the `Cats are now 9-0 when Johnson makes at least two field goals.
The Bobcats shot 51.7 percent (30-58) from the field and limited the Chippewas to 40 percent (22-55), including just 19 percent (4-21) from 3-point territory.
Ohio held a 19-9 advantage in assists for the contest and enjoyed a 31-15 edge in bench scoring. The Bobcats won the fast break points battle 14-6, and are now 17-1 when they outscore their opponent on the break.
Ohio committed six turnovers in the first four minutes of the game, allowing Central Michigan to jump out to a 7-4 lead. With the Chippewas leading 9-6, Ohio came alive, using a 9-2 run to move ahead by four (15-11) at the 10:30 mark.
Central Michigan scored the next four points to tie the game, but consecutive baskets from senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) moved Ohio back in front by four (19-15).
Two straight 3-pointers from Offutt extended the Bobcats' lead to five (25-20), and a fast-break lay-in by Offutt pushed the advantage to six (29-23) with 4:56 to go in the stanza.
The Chippewas pulled within two (33-31) after a basket by Kyle Randall, but a jumper as time expired by Keely gave Ohio a 35-31 edge at the break.
The `Cats shot 50.0 percent (15-30) in the half and limited Central Michigan to 39.3 percent (11-28) from the floor. Offutt led Ohio with 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Keely added 12 points and four rebounds.
Central Michigan moved within three (37-34) early in the second half, but 3-pointers from sophomore guard Stevie Taylor (Gahanna, Ohio), Cooper and Johnson helped Ohio move the lead back to seven (46-39) at the 16:56 mark of the second half.
With Ohio leading 49-43, the `Cats put together a 16-4 run that extended the lead to 18 (65-47) and effectively put the game out of reach for the Chippewas.
Two free throws from Johnson gave him 11 points in the second half and kept Ohio in front by 17 (73-56). Central Michigan could not move closer than 14 for the remainder of the contest.
Ohio returns to the Convocation Center Saturday for an 11 a.m. showdown with MAC East Division rival Kent State Saturday (Feb. 16) on ESPNU. Joe Davis will handle play-by-play duties, while Brook Weisbrod will provide color commentary.
"Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein also will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with streaming audio available on OhioBobcats.com. Ohio won at Kent State, 69-68, on Jan. 26 in the first meeting between the teams this season.
- GO BOBCATS! -