Feb. 14, 2012
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ATHENS, OHIO - The Ohio Bobcats (19-6, 7-4) play a critical contest against Bowling Green (13-11, 7-4) on Wednesday evening. The two teams are currently tied for fourth, just one game behind Kent State and one game ahead of Eastern Michigan.
The fourth-place slot had added importance this year as it is the last spot reserved for a bye in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The teams that finish first and second in the MAC regular season standings receive byes to the semifinals while the third and fourth-place teams go directly to the quarterfinals. Teams finishing 5-12 in the league will play in the first and second round of the tournament.
You can 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.
At halftime, all student-athletes who received a 3.0 term GPA for the winter 2011, spring 2011 and/or fall 2011 quarter(s) will be recognized as part of the Ohio Athletics Department's Honor Roll ceremony. A number of Bobcats will also be walking around The Convo, signing people up for the "Got Swabbed?" Bone Marrow Drive.
- This will be the 133rd meeting between these two teams dating back to the 1921-22 season. The Bobcats hold a 70-62 advantage in the all-time series but have dropped six of the last eight
- The Bobcats have lost only once at home to Bowling Green since 2003 and are 39-24 at home all-time against the Falcons
- Ohio has won its last six home games and its last five against MAC East foes
- The Bobcats are 13-1 at home this season and are bating opponents by an average of 11.6 points per game
- Ohio has now totaled 26 seasons of 10 or more wins since the Roundhouse on Richland started hosting games. Over the last seven+ seasons, the Bobcats are an impressive 84-20 (.808)
- Against Eastern Michigan, Reggie Keely scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, matching the best mark by a Bobcat this season on the glass. It was the junior’s first double-double of the season and fifth of his career.
- Over the last two weeks, Keely is averaging over 11 points and almost six rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor. His recent play resulted in his first start of the season at EMU (season-high 34 minutes)
- D.J. Cooper (15 points) and Walter Offutt (11 points) both scored in double figures and had four of Ohio’s six three-pointers, However the duo shot a combined 6-for-21 from the field.
- Ohio set season lows for field goal percentage (31.3) and field goals made (15) and didn’t score its first points of the game until the 9:50 mark in the first half.
- Ohio scored 17 points in the first half vs. Eastern Michigan. This total was the smallest amount in a half this season for the Bobcats and the fewest points scored in a first half during the John Groce era (18 at BG, 3/8/09).
-Cooper was one of 20 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award and ranks 14th in the nation in steals per game with an average of 2.3.
- The Bobcats are sixth in the nation in turnover margin (+5.2) and ninth in the nation in steals per contest (9.0)
- The Bobcats are one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to guarding the perimeter, ranking 21st in the nation (29.3%)
- Ohio is also excelling in turning its opponents over, ranking No. 1 in the nation in turnover percentage according to KenPom’s national standings (27.4%)
- Ohio has three players averaging in double figures with Cooper leading the way at 13.6 points per game. Offutt is averaging 11.9 points per game and Baltic is chipping in 10.1 points per game for the Bobcats
- Overall, the record for the Bobcats under Coach Groce when they are able to hold their opponents under 70 points is 55-18 (.753)
- Cooper is second all-time with 617 assists and holds the two best single-season marks (263 in 2010-11, 218 in 2009-10). He only trails Dennis Whitaker’s (1987-90) career total of 651
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT
Bowling Green has won four games in a row after fighting back from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat rival Toledo, 66-63, Saturday afternoon at the Stroh Center. Scott Thomas scored 21 points and A’uston Calhoun had 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Falcons overcame a 29-22 halftime deficit by scoring 41 second-half points and grabbing 12 steals.
Calhoun earned the first Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week honor of his career Monday after averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in wins over Ball State and Toledo. He scored 13 straight BGSU points at one point in the second half of the win over the Cardinals and posted his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Rockets. Calhoun also shot 54 percent from the field on the week and dished out four assists.
Offensively, Bowling Green has played well in Mid-American Conference play, ranking third in the league in field goal percentage and fourth in three-point percentage. The Falcons have shot at least 50 percent from the floor in five of the 11 conference contests and are shooting 47.2 percent in total, behind only Kent State at 48.3 percent and Akron at 47.4 percent. Bowling Green is also shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range, trailing Miami (39.5 percent), Kent State (38.3 percent), and Akron (37.0 percent).
EARLIER THIS SEASON
Ohio erased all of a 13-point deficit only to fall at Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams, 67-57. Trailing 52-39 with 7:50 to play in the contest, Ohio scored 17 of the next 21 points to tie the score, 56-56 with 1:59 in regulation.
D.J. Cooper led the Bobcats with 15 points, but was 5-of-17 from the field. Ivo Baltic had 14 points and five assists, but also turned the ball over five times. Walter Offutt had 11 points, five rebounds and a career-best five steals for the ‘Cats. On the night, Ohio shot just 38 percent (32.3 in the second half), while BG shot 52 percent from the field.
BEST STARTS IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Ohio 12-1 start to the season tied the best start for a program in team history, matching the 1920-21 and 1939-40 squads.
A win tonight would be Ohio’s 20th of the season. It would be the 13th time in program history that the Bobcats have won 20 games in a season and second time under current Head Coach John Groce
The 1994-95 team is the quickest in club history to 20 wins, capturing the victory on Feb. 22 against Western Michigan. The 1969-70 Bobcats are the fastest team to win 20 games in terms of record, reaaching the mark before losing their fifth contest of the season.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Ken Pomeroy’s recent study on Ohio’s home-court advantage shows that is has been the sixth best in the nation. By taking results back to the 1999-2000 season and comparing scores of home-and-home series, the Bobcats had a home scoring margin of +513 in 69 games. The Bobcats actual home-court advantage is 6.58 points.
The top 10 are:
1. Utah Valley
5. Virginia Tech
10. Mississippi State
The MAC as a conference ranks third in home-court advantage factor, behind the Big 12 and the Big Ten.
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 430-135 (.761).
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 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.
GROCE STACKING UP WITH OHIO GREATS
Head Coach John Groce won 56 games in his first three seasons as leader of the Bobcats. That win total is seven more than the previous best three-year start to a coaching career in Athens (Dutch Trautwein, 49 wins, 1938-41).
“Gentleman” Jim Snyder is the all-time wins leader among Ohio head coaches with 355 to his credit. He coached the Bobcats from 1947 to 1974, a span of 25 seasons. Currently, Groce is seventh all-time in career wins with the Green & White.
Two current players are moving up the Ohio charts. Despite only beginning their junior seasons, D.J. Cooper and Reggie Keely have both made an imprint on Ohio Bobcat basketball.
Cooper is one of 33 1,000-point scorers in Ohio history. His 322 points this season have seen him move past former teammates DeVaughn Washington and Tommy Freeman, as well as Fred Moore, Lewis Geter, Frankie Baumholtz, John Canine, Bunk Adams, Jerry Jackson, Don Hilt, Sonny Troutman, Kirk Lehman, Gerald McKee, Vic Alexander, Robert Tatum, Curtis Simmons and Sanjay Adell with 1,390 career points.
His 230 steals currently rank him second all-time as he passed former ‘Cats Paul Graham and Dennis Whitaker these last two weeks. Cooper now trails only all-time leader Sonny Troutman’s Ohio record, 259. Cooper also owns the single-season mark in that category (93 in 2009-10).
Keely cracked the top-10 list for career blocks last season and recently moved past Paul Graham for ninth place with 78 rejections.
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: AN INSIDE LOOK AT OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL
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. 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.