After failing to register their first away win of the season at the fourth attempt, the Ohio men’s basketball team was keen to add another home-win against a non-conference opponent.
With a little help from their stingy defense and D.J. Cooper’s record-setting performance, the Bobcats were able to accomplish that feat.
The Ohio men’s basketball team sent out a stern warning to their critics following a satisfying 94-57 win over traditional rival Marshall.
Cooper scored 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting, while collecting six rebounds and dishing out 17 assists, which is a new single game record for Ohio. Nick Kellogg had a game-high 22 points, and Reggie Keely, Walter Offutt and Ivo Baltic tallied 18, 13 and 12 points, respectively.
D.D. Scarver led the Thundering Herd with 13 points, on 5-of-12 shooting. He also contributed three assists, while grabbing two rebounds. Jamir Hanner scored 12 points off the bench, while Elijah Pittman chipped in with 8 points and two rebounds.
With the win, Ohio (9-5) enters conference play on Wednesday in the perfect state of mind. Their 94 points scored are a season-high, and they assisted on 29 of 32 made field goals.
Marshall (7-8) has now lost three games in a row and has dropped below the .500 mark for the second time this season. They were able to out-rebound the Bobcats 43-27, and their bench out-scored Ohio’s bench by 15, 32-17.
The ‘Cats started the stronger of the two teams. Kellogg opened the scoring for Ohio with a three-pointer on the left side, and lay-ups by Offutt and Cooper along with a thunderous dunk by Baltic guided Ohio to an early 9-1 lead with 2:45 gone in the first-half.
Ohio continued to keep its foot on the gas, as two more three-point baskets by Kellogg and a three-point make by T.J. Hall increased Ohio’s lead to 16, 28-12, midway through the first half.
With five minutes to go until half-time, Ohio was able to expand its lead to 26. A layup by Offutt and Kellogg’s fourth three-point make in the first half gave Ohio a 44-18 lead.
The Bobcats were able to go into the break up 56-24, courtesy of a layup by Keely, and free throw makes from Cooper and Kellogg.
Ohio shot a sizzling 74% from the field in the first stanza (20-of-27), while holding Marshall to 43% shooting in the first-half (9-of-21). The ‘Cats had 26 points in the paint, compared to 12 for the Thundering Herd, and Ohio scored 39 points off turnovers, compared to Marshall’s four.
The second half brought much of the same for Ohio. Even though Marshall scored the first seven points of the half, a three-point field goal from Cooper and a three-point play from Offutt gave Ohio a 69-38 lead with 15:10 remaining in the contest.
Two more layup’s from Keely and Kellogg’s fifth three-pointer of the game increased the Bobcat lead to 35, 84-49, with five minutes left to go in the game.
Ohio closed the game with three-pointers from Keely, which was his first three-point make of his career, and fan favorites David McKinley and Nick Goff.
Ohio finished the game shooting 65% from the field (32-of-49) and scored 38 points in the paint, compared to Marshall’s 30. The Bobcats held Marshall to 35% shooting from the field (20-of-57) and 16% shooting from three-point range (3-of-19).
The Ohio Bobcats will look to get off to the perfect start in Mid-American Conference play on Wednesday, January 9th, as they will play host to the Buffalo Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.