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Ohio Opens NIT Play Tuesday At Denver

Senior guard Walter Offutt averaged 11.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in the MAC Tournament.

March 18, 2013

Ohio vs. Denver NIT Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Listen Live | Live Stats | ESPN3 Link

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University men's basketball team (24-9) returns to the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 1995 Tuesday with a first round matchup at Denver University (21-9).

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. (EST) inside Magness Arena. Tuesday's game will air across the nation on ESPN3. Trey Bender will handle play-by-play duties while Corey Williams will provide color commentary.

In addition, the game will be broadcast on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein will call the game live, with streaming audio available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game coverage starts at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

Ohio enters the game as the No. 6 seed in the Alabama Region while the Pioneers are the No. 6 seed.

The Bobcats are making their school-record fourth-straight appearance in post-season tournament play (excludes MAC Tournament). Ohio has won at least one post-season tournament game in a MAC record three-straight seasons. The `Cats won NCAA Tournament games in 2010 and 2012 and grabbed a victory in the CIT in 2011.

Last time out, the No. 2 seeded Bobcats fell to top-seeded Akron, 65-46, in the MAC Tournament Final Saturday night in Cleveland. Senior forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) led Ohio with 19 points (7-14 FG), while senior Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Offutt has averaged 13.3 ppg while shooting 50.7 percent (.486 3pt FG) in eight career post-season games at Ohio.

Ohio In The NIT

The Bobcats are 4-4 all time in the National Invitation Tournament in four appearances. Ohio last played in the post-season event in 1995, when the Bobcats defeated George Washington (83-71) and fell at Iowa (66-62). The Bobcats were runners up in the 1941 NIT after posting wins over Duquesne (55-40) and the City College of New York (45-43). Ohio fell to Long Island in the NIT Final (56-42) that season.

Scouting The Pioneers (21-9, 16-2)

Tuesday's matchup will mark the first meeting between Ohio and Denver on the hardwood. The Pioneers earned a share of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season title after posting a 21-9 overall record and a 16-2 mark in league play. Last time out, Denver fell to Texas State, 72-68, in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals.

Denver is first in the WAC in scoring defense (55.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.481), 3-point field goal percentage (.380) and assists (16.4 apg). The Pioneers are last in the conference in rebounding (25.0 rpg) and rebounding margin (-6.0). Junior Chris Udofia leads Denver with 12.9 points per game this season, while sophomore Royce O'Neale leads the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and assists (3.4 apg). Head coach Joe Scott is 101-83 in six seasons with the Pioneers.

Up Next

If the Bobcats win Tuesday, Ohio will play the winner of No. 2 Maryland/No. 7 Niagara in NIT second round action. The game will be played between March 21-25.