Feb. 26, 2011
KENT, Ohio - Ohio dominated play in the first half and then had to come back in overtime to win a thrilling encounter at Kent State on Saturday evening, 88-87 in overtime.The Bobcats received valuable contributions from a number of players and won their fourth straight and eighth in 10 games.
DeVaughn Washington scored the game-winning basket in overtime and led the Bobcats (16-13, 8-6) with 20 points and six rebounds. The senior has now scored in double figures in all but one MAC game this season. Ivo Baltic added 16 points while Nick Kellogg hit five three-pointers and grabbed four rebounds.
Tommy Freeman became the 31st player in Ohio history to reach the 1,000-point plateau with two free throws in the first half. The senior finished 8-for-8 from the line, 11 points total, and corralled a career-high nine rebounds. D.J. Cooper picked up his 12th career double-double with 10 points and 14 assists. His assist total was one shy of his career high and he also grabbed six rebounds for Ohio.
Ohio snapped a handful of streaks with the win tonight; Kent State's 25-game home winning streak in month of February, KSU's 13-game home winning streak against MAC opponents, and Ohio's nine-game losing streak at the MAC Center against the Golden Flashes.
Rodriguez Sherman scored 21 points, 16 in the second half, to lead the Golden Flashes (19-10, 10-4). Justin Greene recorded another double-double for KSU with 19 points and 15 rebounds and Carlton Guyton added 18 points off the bench.
The Bobcats fell behind by five in overtime but a Washington dunk cut the lead to three. After the home team made one of two at the line, Freeman drew a foul and connected on two free throws to slice the deficit to two. After a missed three-pointer by KSU, Cooper found Johnson under the basket for a hoop and harm. The freshman calmly hit the free throw for a one-point Ohio lead.
Kent retained a one-point lead with 42 seconds left but Ohio had one more chance to gain the upper hand. Washington converted a tough bucket in traffic with 15 seconds left to hand the Bobcats an 88-87 lead.
In the end, the game came down to one last defensive stand as the `Cats played solid defense on Michael Porrini, who took a contested shot. The miss was rebounded by Kellogg and after a tie-up, possession belonged to the Green & White with six-tenths of a second left. As soon as Ohio inbounded the ball, time expired and the visitors celebrated with a thrilling win over their MAC East counterparts.
Ohio jumped out to a 6-0 lead after consecutive conventional three-point play from Washington and Baltic. Leading 11-3, Ohio allowed two KSU buckets before three-straight offensive conversions from Ricardo Johnson, Baltic and Reggie Keely pushed the advantage to double figures at 17-7.
Leading 22-14, Cooper buried a three from straight-away and then threw a half-court alley-oop to Washington for a 13-point lead. Ahead 35-23, the Bobcats went on a 7-1 run and to go ahead 42-24. The spurt culminated with another alley-oop to Washington, this time from Kellogg.
Washington led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, while Cooper led the team with nine assists, five rebounds and three steals to go along with five points.
Ohio out-shot KSU 57 percent to 26.5 in the first stanza and despite allowing 10 offensive rebounds, beat the Golden Flashes on the glass, 21-19. The Bobcats also had a double-digit advantage in points off turnovers and scored 26 points in the paint.
Trailing 56-38, KSU went on a 12-1 run to cut the Bobcat lead to 57-50 with 12:06 remaining in the second period. Ohio got two free throws from T.J. Hall and took a 59-50 lead before Kent St. went on a 10-2 run that closed the gap to one with under eight minutes left.
A three-pointer from Sherman gave the Golden Flashes their first lead of the game at 70-69 with 5:29 showing on the game clock. However, Freeman drew a foul and connected on the free throws before Baltic converted in the low post for a three-point advantage with 3:38 to play.
Leading 77-75, Ohio needed one more stop on defense but Greene bulled his way toward the basket and scored to even the game with less than a minute left. After Cooper missed a long three, Kellogg grabbed the rebound and Ohio had a chance at the last shot of regulation. However, another three-point try by Cooper went awry and sent the contest into overtime.
Ohio hosts Akron on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. and everyone in attendance is encouraged to wear green for Green Fever Night at The Convo. Be sure to grab your Green Fever t-shirt and for more information, click here.