ATHENS, Ohio - Senior point guard D.J. Cooperscored five of his team-high 16 points in the final 40 seconds to lead the Ohio University men's basketball team (6-0) to a 69-64 victory over St. Bonaventure Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
Cooper's (Chicago, Ill.) five-point spurt down the stretch could not have come at a better time. His 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining put the Bobcats up 66-64. He then stepped up to the free throw line and knocked down a pair of clutch shots from the charity stripe with 19 seconds remaining to secure the `Cats win over the Bonnies.
In addition, Cooper dished out eight assists, which marked his second highest single game total he has posted this season.
Fellow senior Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double figures as he scored 14 points, going 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. Junior guard Nick Kellogg(Westerville, Ohio) finished with 13 points after he connected on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
Senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) pulled down a team-high six rebounds, while junior Jon Smith(Columbus, Ohio) tallied a game-high four blocks. Ohio was outrebounded 34-27 by St. Bonaventure as a team, but the Bonnies were forced into 20 turnovers, while the Bobcats had just 13 turnovers.
With the win, Ohio captured its 15th-consecutive win at home, however the `Cats streak of eight straight games with 70 points or more was snapped.
Ohio led for most of the first half, but no team lead by more than five points. That all changed at the 1:47 mark of the first half as the Bobcats went up by seven. Ohio held St. Bonaventure to just one point for the final three minutes of the first half to take a 37-29 lead into the locker room.
Offutt led all scorers at the break with 11 points, while Cooper poured in eight.
In the second half, Ohio increased its lead to as many as 11 points (18:27) and appeared to be on its way to another double-digit victory, but the Bonnies fought back and cut the Bobcats' lead to one with 9:18 (53-52) to play.
Less than three minutes later, the Bonnies took a three-point lead (56-53) with 6:52 to play. In the final four minutes, Ohio outscored SBU 10-3 to secure the win.
When it was all said and done, Ohio's matchup with St. Bonaventure featured seven ties and 15 lead changes.
The Ohio University men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday as it travels to Robert Morris. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday's matchup can be heard for free on OhioBobcats.com. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Peoples Bank Ohio IMG Sports Network.