Feb. 19, 2011
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Two of Ohio's seniors stepped up on the road this evening and the Bobcats earned their first overtime win of the season, 77-74, over Winthrop in the ESPNU BracketBuster from Rock Hill, S.C.
DeVaughn Washington tied a career-high with 25 points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and picked up three steals in front of a large Ohio contingent that helped the visitors become the only MAC team to win on the road during BracketBuster Saturday.
Tommy Freeman matched his career-high with seven three-pointers and is now tied with Bobcat great Dave Jamerson for the Ohio career record. The senior from Muncie, Indiana now has 978 career points, 22 shy of 1,000.
Ohio jumped out to an 11-3 lead and then extended its advantage with an 8-1 run to go ahead, 19-4 at the 12:49 mark of the first half. During the opening barrage, six different players scored buckets for the Bobcats. A layup by Reggie Keely pushed the lead to its largest point at 26-6 with 10:10 remaining in the first period.
Despite facing a large deficit, Winthrop rattled off a 19-5 run to close the half and trimmed the Bobcat lead to 30-25 at the intermission. Washington led all Ohio players with eight points in the first half, while Freeman hit two triples to give him six in the first 20 minutes.
Keely added five and three rebounds, Ivo Baltic had four and three, T.J. Hall had three and three and Nick Kellogg added a trifecta. Despite not scoring, D.J. Cooper dished out four assists to lead the Green & White.
A 10-2 Ohio run started the second half as Washington scored five during the run and pushed the `Cat lead to 13. However, Winthrop went on a 10-1 run of its own to cut the lead to 44-40 on a three-pointer by Reggie Middleton with 12:37 to play. Middleton finished with a team-high 19 for the Eagles.
Once again though, the seniors for Ohio stepped up as Freeman drilled a three and Washington converted a traditional and-1 play to extend the lead back to eight at 50-42 with 11:28 showing.
A three-pointer by Gideon Gamble cut the Bobcat edge to one possession for the first time since it was 6-3, but Freeman responded with another three to make it 53-47, Ohio. The Bobcats would maintain a multiple-possession lead until a Middleton layup cut it to 57-55 with 5:53 to go in the second half.
Ohio went on a 7-0 run, getting a layup from Kellogg, a three from Freeman and a layup by Baltic, to go ahead nine, 64-55 with 3:45 left. But once again, Winthrop would not go away and closed the game with a 9-0 run of its own to force overtime.
The Bobcat defense halted the Eagles on their last possession and forced a hurried three-point attempt to cause the extra session.
Ohio shot 36.7 percent in the first half, and upped their percentage to 48 percent in the second half. The team also hit one more three-pointer and one more free throw during the second stanza.
For the fourth time this season, Ohio headed to overtime, and for the first time in the 2010-11 season, the Bobcats came out on the winning end. Cooper scored all eight of his points in the extra frame and Washington added a bucket and two free throws to pull out the victory.
Ohio led by three, needing one more defensive stop to get the win, as WU called timeout with seven seconds left. Once again, Ohio ratcheted up the pressure and forced a tough three-point attempt that was rebounded by Baltic which sealed the win.
The Bobcats return home after this three-game road swing and jump back into MAC action with a contest against Bowling Green on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised by SportsTime Ohio.