ATHENS, Ohio -Senior guard Walter Offutt scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Ohio University Men's Basketball Team to a 75-67 victory over Hampton University at the Convocation Center Tuesday night.
Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) connected on four of his 12 field goal attempts but made his way to the free-throw line 15 times, sinking 13 shots from the stripe. He was joined in double figures by Ivo Baltic's 16 points and D.J. Cooper's 12. David Bruce led all scorers for Hampton, scoring 20 points while also grabbing 12 boards.
Ohio shot 21-of-49 (42.9 percent) from the field and connected on 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) of its shots from distance. The Bobcats were able to force the Pirates into 24 turnovers, taking advantage of these miscues by scoring 32 points from them. Ohio swatted away eight Hampton shots in the win.
The Pirates shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) including a 20 percent (2-of-10) clip from three-point range. Hampton out-rebounded Ohio by 17, collecting 43 rebounds to Ohio's 26.
Hampton (0-3) jumped out to an early 10-6 lead, but the Bobcats responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 17-12 lead with 12:46 to go in the first half. Reggie Keely and Offutt both had four points during the run and Cooper hit a three-pointer.
The Pirates fought right back and took a two-point lead with 9:44 remaining in the first half. From there no team would lead by more than five points until the 4:32 mark of the first half as Ohio extended its lead to six points.
In the final four minutes, Ohio closed the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 44-27 lead heading into the locker room. The `Cats' final surge of the first half was capped by a three-pointer in the corner by Baltic.
Offutt and Baltic both scored in double figures in the opening 20 minutes as they combined to go 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and 9-of-13 from the field. In addition, the `Cats forced the Pirates into 14 first-half turnovers and scored 21 points off of turnovers.
In the second half, Hampton trimmed Ohio's lead to 12 points with 16:54 to go in the game. The Pirates would come as close as eight points when Bruce connected on a free throw with 2:39 to play, but Ohio wouldn't allow them to come any closer. Offutt scored eight of his 23 points in the second frame, hitting eight of his ten free-throw attempts in the final 20 minutes.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday as they face off against Richmond at 2 p.m. Ohio's matchup can be seen through a live stream and can be heard for free on OhioBobcats.com. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein will call the action live on the Peoples Bank Ohio IMG Sports Network.