HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Ohio Men's Basketball rebounded from its first loss of the season to topple previously undefeated Marshall on the road this evening, 70-68. Walter Offutt denied DeAndre Kane on a potential game-tying shot and Ohio improved to 4-1 on the season.
Ohio led by as many as 14 in the second half but Marshall could have tied it after gaining possession with less than nine seconds remaining. After an Ohio turnover, Kane, who led all scorers with 17 points, worked one-on-one against Offutt and put up a turnaround shot in the post that hit off the backboard and rim.
"This was a team effort tonight," Offutt said. "This was a fun game to be a part of and I value the opportunity to play with my teammates. Tonight, we took great pride in our ability to rebound. We knew we had to keep up with them on the glass if we were going to have a chance to win."
Marshall, which had dominated its opponents on the boards to a tune of +11.4 per game, only out-rebounded Ohio by one. The Bobcats also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to match their season average, which currently tops the Mid-American Conference.
Reggie Keely paced the Bobcats with 16 points and added five rebounds, Offutt had 13 points and five boards and Ivo Baltic was just shy of a double-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and the first three-pointer of his career. D.J. Cooper did post a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists to go with four steals.
Ohio never trailed and went up 63-49 on Stevie Taylor's steal and layup with 7:35 remaining. Its lead remained in double digits until Shaquille Johnson converted a three-point play after a steal with 3:46 to go, making it a 67-59 game.
That was part of seven-point Marshall run, with Jamir Hanner's layup making the score 67-63 at the 2:08 mark.
However, Marshall committed consecutive turnovers and Cooper hit a pair of shots at the free throw line with 32 seconds to go to push Ohio's lead back to a six-point advantage.
Kane responded with a quick three-pointer, and after Cooper made one-of-two at the foul line, Damier Pitts made it a two-point game with 15 seconds left with two free throws of his own. After successfully inbounding the ball, Cooper lost possession out of bounds to give Marshall a chance to tie or win.
Dennis Tinnon scored 12 points and grabbed 14 boards for the Thundering Herd. Robert Goff scored 11 points, while Pitts finished with 10 points and seven assists.
Ultimately, Marshall failed to take advantage of its free throw opportunities, making just 21 of 38 (55.3 percent) attempts. Ohio was 7 of 11 (63.6 percent).
Ohio got its first-half separation by scoring seven straight points to take an 18-11 lead. A Ricardo Johnson trey sandwiched between a pair of Keely layups created the margin. A Nick Kellogg three-pointer and a scoop layup by Taylor gave Ohio its first double-digit lead at 25-14. Another triple by Johnson gave Ohio its biggest lead of the half at 32-19.
Marshall, who had gone six and a half minutes without scoring in the first half, cut the lead to six before a Cooper layup snapped a 6-0 Herd run with under a minute to go in the first half.
The Bobcats led by nine at the break with Keely's eight points leading the way. Cooper, Offutt and Johnson had six apiece and overall, seven Bobcats were in the scoring column. Also at intermission, Ohio was a +1 on the glass, had only committed four turnovers, scored 22 points in paint, received 16 points from its bench and held a 12-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
Ohio had its best shooting game of the year at 50 percent (29 of 58). Marshall was 21 of 52 (40.4 percent).
Next up for Ohio is a 2 p.m. home game Saturday against Morgan State.