ATHENS, Ohio - Junior guard Walter Offutt tied a career-high with 17 points to lead the Ohio University men's basketball team (5-1) to a 61-53 victory over Morgan State Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) was one of three Bobcats, which finished in double figures as junior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) and sophomore guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) added 14 and 10 points, respectively. Baltic score 10 of his 14 points came in the second half as he went 4-of-5.
Junior guard D.J. Cooper also chipped in with eight points and seven assists. Offutt also dished out a career-best six assists. Cooper and Baltic combined for eight steals on the afternoon. The four swipes from Baltic were a career-high.
The Bobcats were outshot and outrebounded by the Bears, but Ohio held a commanding 12-2 advantage in bench scoring led by sophomore Ricardo Johnson (Covington, Ky.), who finished the game with six points, connecting on 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
No team led by more than eight points in a game that featured 21 lead changes. Ohio trailed by one (51-50) with 3:56 to go in the game, but Offutt's lay-up with 3:42 to go gave the Bobcats the lead for good as Ohio went on to a 9-2 run in the final three minutes to secure the win.
Kellogg connected on 3-pointer to give Ohio a 31-25 lead with 18:59 to go in the second half. Ohio's six point lead would the largest for the Cats' over the next 18:48. Over the next 18:48 there would be a total of 10 lead changes and five ties.
No team led by more than five points for the first 15 minutes of the first half. Ohio lead 18-17 with just under five minutes remaining in the first half and would then go on an 8-2 run to take a 26-19 lead with 2:16 to go until the break. Offutt scored a four of his eight first half points during that stretch.
Morgan State responded by scoring the next six points to cut Ohio's lead to one at 26-25. The Bobcats would go on to take a 28-25 lead into the locker room. The first half saw 11 lead changes and four changes. MSU outshot Ohio 37.5-31.0 and held 19-17 advantage on the glass.
Ohio returns to action on Wednesday as it heads North to take on Oakland. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.