Dec. 29, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - Senior guard D.J. Cooper scored a team-high 14 points, but it was not enough as the Ohio University men's basketball team (8-5) dropped a 74-63 decision to Oklahoma Saturday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) finished the game by going 6-of-13 from the field. He also dished out a team-best seven assists. Fellow seniors Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) and Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) also finished in double figures, finishing with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Keely also turned in a strong performance on the glass as he pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
As a team, Ohio's bench outscored Oklahoma 23-14, but was forced into 18 turnovers, which led to 22 points for the Sooners. Oklahoma went on to finish the game with 12 steals. The Sooners held a narrow field goal shooting advantage, as it outshot the Bobcats 47.4-47.2.
Oklahoma had three players finish in double figures with senior guard Steve Pledger leading the way with 18 points. Pledger finished the game by connecting on 7-of-16 shots from the field.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early 7-2 lead at the 17:10 mark of the first half. Keely paced Ohio as he tallied a pair of layups. The Sooners fought right back as it scored the next six points to take their first lead of the game at 8-6 with 15:21 remaining until the break. From there, Ohio charged back with a 10-4 run to re-claim the lead at 17-12.
Oklahoma would tighten up defensively, holding Ohio without a field goal for the next four minutes to reclaim the lead at 18-17 with 8:16 to go until the break. No team would lead by more than five points for the rest of the first half as the two squads would go into the locker room tied at 29 apiece.
Ohio remained within five points for the first three and half minutes of the second half, but the Sooners opened their lead to nine with 14:57 remaining in the game. The Bobcats fought right back as it cut the lead to four (54-43) with 11:37 thanks to a 3-pointer by Offutt. Oklahoma opened up an 11-point lead four minutes later after it went on a 7-0 run.
The Bobcats fought back again to cut the lead to four with 7:10 remaining thanks to a 9-2 run, which was capped by a Jon Smith (Columbus, Ohio) dunk. There would be no comeback in the final stretch for the Bobcats as Oklahoma closed the game with an 18-11 run to secure the win. At one point during the final stretch, Ohio trailed by as many as 17 points (2:59).
The Ohio University men's basketball team rings in the New Year with a contest against rival Marshall on Jan. 5, 2013, inside the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. (EST). The matchup can be seen through a live stream and can be heard for free on OhioBobcats.com. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon.