Dec. 11, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. -- D.J. Cooper had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists for his first career triple-double as Ohio eased to a 72-54 victory over Portland on Saturday evening. The junior also added five steals as the Bobcats improved to 7-1 for the first time since the 1969-70 season.
Walter Offutt added 12 points and Jon Smith finished with a career-high 11 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who won their fourth straight game.
Ohio erased a five-point deficit in the final 2:30 of the first half with an 11-0 run. During the stretch, Ricardo Johnson scored five points, Nick Kellogg delivered a three-pointer and Cooper converted an and-1 try. Johnson finished with 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.
The Bobcats broke open a close game with a 11-0 run to take a 47-38 lead early in the second half, holding the Pilots without a field goal for almost seven minutes.
The Bobcats added a 7-0 spurt a short time later to make it 57-43.
Portland rallied to pull within 61-52 with 4:35 to play, but the Bobcats put the game away by outscoring the Pilots 11-2 the rest of the way.
Ohio shot 43 percent from the field while Portland made just 36.5 percent of its attempts. The Bobcats ratcheted up the pressure in the second half limiting the home side to 29 percent shooting. Ohio improved to 44-15 under John Groce when it holds their opponents under 70 points.
This was the third true road win of the season for the Bobcats. The last team to accomplish that feat this early in the season was the 1960-61 season that won a trio of games by December 14.
Ohio also won a game in the Pacific Time Zone for the second-straight year after topping Santa Clara in the Las Vegas Invitational last season. It was the first win on the west coast for the 'Cats since beating Cal-State Northridge in 1996.
Ohio returns home this Wednesday to play Marietta College at 7 p.m. The Bobcats then head back out on the road for contests at Wright State (Dec. 17) and Northern Iowa (Dec. 20)