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Ohio Falls Short To North Carolina, 73-65 in Overtime

Walter Offutt

March 23, 2012

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ST. LOUIS - Junior guard Walter Offutt scored a game and career-high 26 points, but it was not enough as the Ohio University men's basketball team (29-8) dropped a 73-65 decision to top seeded North Carolina Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) was one of three players that finished in double figures as sophomore Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) and junior D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Kellogg pulled down eight rebounds, while Cooper dished out six assists - both were team highs.

Eighteen of Offutt's 26 came from beyond the arc. His six 3-pointers were a career high. He finished the night 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Ohio trailed 29-22 at the half as it shot just 22.9 percent. The Bobcats trailed for the entire first half and were behind by as many as 15 points in the opening 20 minutes.

Coming out of the locker room, North Carolina would go on to open up a 10-point lead (37-27) at the 17:26 mark, but Ohio responded as they went on an 11-2 run to trim the Tar Heels' lead to just one at 39-38 with 13:54 to go in the game. Ohio hit three 3-pointers during the stretch - two of which came from Offutt.

The Bobcats took their first lead of the game at the 8:30 mark of the second half following a 3-pointer from Kellogg. From that point, no team would lead by more than four points for the remainder of regulation. The game featured six ties in the final 8:30.

Ohio held a four-point lead with 3:49 to go in the game, but North Carolina fought back to tie the game with a 10-6 push in the final stretch which sent the game into overtime. Offutt converted a layup and was fouled on the play with 25 seconds remaining, but he was unable to convert the free throw.

In the second half, Ohio outscored North Carolina 41-34, while holding the Tar Heels to just 38.7 percent shooting.

In the overtime session, Ohio was outscored 10-2 and was 0-for-6 from the field as UNC went on to secure the win and a trip to the Elite Eight.

The Bobcats finished the season with 29 victories - the most in school history - and won two games in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1964. They were also the lowest seed to make the Sweet 16 since 2006 (No. 13 Bradley)