Jan. 24, 2012
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ATHENS, OHIO - Ohio hosts Western Michigan on Wednesday night in the third of four Mid-American Conference home games for the Bobcats. The crossover contest between teams from the East and West divisions will tip-off at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.
The game will be televised on SportsTime Ohio/ESPN3 with Michael Reghi providing the play-by-play and Steve Mix providing color commentary. You can also hear all the action as Voice of the Bobcats Russ Eisenstein will have the play-by-play call on the Citizens Banks IMG Ohio Sports Network with Rob Cornelius providing the color commentary.
LAST TIME OUT
On a day dedicated to former Ohio great Gary Trent, the Ohio men’s basketball team pulled out a nail biter, defeating rival Miami 69-65 Saturday afternoon in front of over 13,000 fans in the Convocation Center.
Ivo Baltic scored a game-high 20 points to lead Ohio. He was also one of four Bobcat players in double figures. Baltic’s 20-point effort marked the 10th-consecutive game in which he has reached double figures.
Joining Baltic in double figures were Walter Offutt with 15, D.J. Cooper with 13 and Reggie Keely with 11. Ohio held a 32-29 rebounding edge with Jon Smith leading the way with six rebounds.
Ohio battled back from a 12-point deficit and took the lead for good with a 13-4 run which was capped off by an Offutt steal and layup with 52 seconds to play. With just under 20 seconds to play, Offutt followed his own shot pulling in a critical offensive rebound.
Ohio shot 52 percent from the field in the second half, compared to Miami’s 38.7 percent from the field. The Bobcats were also tough defensively, holding the Redhawks to 16.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
A GLIMPSE AT THE ‘CATS
Ohio has three players averaging in double figures with junior guard D.J. Cooper leading the way at 14.2 points per game. Junior guard Walter Offutt and junior forward Ivo Baltic are both averaging 11.6 points per contest.
Junior forward Reggie Keely is averaging a career-best 9.2 points per game and a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Nick Kellogg is averaging 8.9 points per game and shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Bobcats are one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to guarding the perimeter, ranking 17th in the nation (28.7%). Ohio is also excelling in turning its opponents over, forcing 117 turnovers the past six games. The Bobcats are fifth in the nation in turnover margin (+5.4) and 11th in the nation in steals per contest (9.3).
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT
The Broncos are 30-34 against teams from the MAC East under current head coach Steve Hawkins and are currently out-rebounding MAC opponents by an average of 8.6 rebounds per game. WMU is averaging more offensive (12.4) and defensive rebounds (26.2) in conference matches than any other team.
Nate Hutcheson was named the MAC West Player of the Week by the writers of the blog, theMACDaily.com after averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game against MAC opponents, scoring 17+ points in three of five MAC games.
Matt Stainbrook has scored in double-digits in eight straight outings, the longest stretch for any Bronco this season and ranks first in the MAC and 19th in Division I with a .583 shooting percentage.
Every member of the Broncos’ starting five is averaging double digits in points per game with Nate Hutcheson having reached in the first half in each of the last two games. The Broncos also have four players in the top 11 in the MAC in free throw shooting (Demetrius Ward, Mike Douglas, Hutcheson, and Austin Richie).
Douglas and Ward rank third and seventh respectively in the MAC in minutes played and against Central Michigan, Douglas moved into second on the WMU career assists list; with 407 career assists, he needs 20 more assists to reach Billy Stanback’s program record.
HISTORY VS. WMU
Wednesday’s meeting marks the 122nd meeting between Western Michigan and Ohio with the Bobcats holding a 62-59 lead in the all-time series dating back to the 1939-40 season. Ohio has won seven in a row at home in this series dating back to a 78-74 overtime loss in 2000 to the Broncos.
Ohio lost to WMU last season 85-83 in Kalamazoo. The Green & White trailed for the final 10 minutes of the game but fought valiantly and missed a try at the buzzer that would have won the contest.
D.J. Cooper led the Bobcats with 17 points and five assists, while DeVaughn Washington added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ivo Baltic chipped in with 14 points and eight rebounds, Tommy Freeman scored 11 and Ricardo Johnson finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Despite giving up a season-high 12 three-pointers, Ohio out-rebounded one of the better teams in the conference. The Bobcats finished with 17 offensive rebounds, shot 47 percent from the floor and also held advantages in points in the paint, points off turnovers and second chance points.
Flenard Whitfield finished with a career-high 27 points and recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Demetrius Ward added 22 points, on the strength of six three-pointers, and seven assists for the Broncos. Juwan Howard Jr. recorded 12 points and six blocks and Mike Douglas also finished in double-figures with 10 points.
COOPER TABBED AS COUSY FINALIST
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Ohio’s D.J. Cooper is one of 20 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Cooper ranks eighth nationally in steals per game and 29th in assists. He is also one of the best in the nation with a 2.08 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The current listing of 20 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to 10 players in early February and then down five players by early March. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. This Hall of Fame committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be awarded at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Monday April 2nd in New Orleans as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A & M), DJ Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) and last year’s recipient Kemba Walker (Connecticut).
2012 Bob Cousy Award 20 Finalists
Pierre Jackson, Baylor; Shabazz Napier, UConn; Ray McCallum, Detroit; Seth Curry, Duke; Erving Walker, Florida; Scott Machado, Iona; Casper Ware, Long Beach State; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Trey Burke, Michigan; Dee Bost, Mississippi State; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Kendall Marshall, North Carolina; Aaron Craft, Ohio State; D.J. Cooper, Ohio; Zack Rosen, Pennsylvania; Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; Damian Lillard, Weber State; Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin; Tu Holloway, Xavier
BEST STARTS IN PROGRAM HISTORY
1969-70 9-1 Finished 20-5 (MAC Champions, NCAA Tournament)
1940-41 11-1 Finished 18-4 (NIT Runner-Up)
2011-12 12-1 ???
1939-40 12-1 Finished 19-6 (Independent)
1920-21 12-1 Finished 15-2 (Ohio Athletic Association Champions)
The Convocation Center opened with the beginning of the 1968-69 season and has been home to the Bobcats ever since. Over that time frame, the Bobcats have amassed a record of 427-135 (.760).
After opening The Convo on Dec. 3, 1968, with an 80-70 win over Indiana, the Bobcats won 35 of their first 37 games at the arena. Ohio has now totaled 26 seasons of 10 or more wins since the Roundhouse on Richland started hosting games. The ‘Cats won their 10th home game of this season against archrival Miami
Over the last seven+ seasons, the Bobcats are an impressive 80-20 (.800) and had a 13-game home winning streak this season, at the time the 17th-longest in the nation. The run of success was the longest since the 2005-06 and 2006-07 teams ran together a string of 14-consecutive victories.
Ohio also holds the MAC attendance record set on Feb. 28, 1970, when 14,102 fans witnessed the Bobcats clinch the league title with a win over Bowling Green. In a home game against Miami this season, the Bobcats registered 13,011 fans in attendance, the most at The Convo since 1997.
SETTING THE BAR AT 70
Since John Groce took over the reins of the Ohio men’s basketball program, the Bobcats have had great success when they are able to hold their opponents under 70 points in a contest.
After going 15-5 in Groce’s first year, the Bobcats went 12-6 in 2009-10 and 12-3 in 2010-11. This year, the team is 13-3 with the blemishes coming against No. 7 Louisville, at Bowling Green and at Akron. Overall, the record for the Bobcats when they are able to hold their opponents under 70 points is 52-17 (.754)
SHAQ OF THE MAC HONORED
Ohio University Athletics will honor the career accomplishments of Gary Trent (1993-95) during halftime of the Bobcats’ matchup with Miami. Trent will be honored throughout the game culminating with a presentation where his No. 20 jersey will be unveiled in the rafters of the Convocation Center.
Nicknamed “The Shaq of the MAC”, Trent is the only three-time MAC Player of the Year in the history of the league. He was a three-time MAC scoring champion, two-time rebounding leader and one of just three players in league history with at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Trent completed his Ohio career with 2,108 points and 1,050 rebounds. He was selected in the first round as the 11th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks where he would go on to enjoy an 11-year NBA career.
All In is a reality sports documentary television series following Ohio Men’s Basketball through Mid-American Conference play. The show will give fans an in-depth perspective of the team’s preparation for games, as well as the games themselves, and take a look at the lives off the court for these student-athletes.
All In airs Tuesdays on WOUB at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., starting Feb. 7. The show also airs on SportsTime Ohio on Tuesdays, with times varying. For a complete list of STO airdates, please see below. In addition to the network airings, All In will also be shown on OhioBobcats.com
STO Dates and Times
Feb. 7 at 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 at 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 21 at 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
March 13 at 7:30 p.m.